MET ACCUSED OF 'LEAKING NAMES' OF TORIES WHO 'BET ON ELECTION DATE'

The Met Police has been accused of leaking the identities of Tories who are alleged to have betted on the date of the general election

So far, four Tory candidates and officials are being probed by the Gambling Commissio over allegations they placed money on when the election would be taking place. 

Prime minister Rishi Sunak's top parliamentary aide and the candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr, Craig Williams, Tory candidate in Bristol West, Laura Saunders, her husband and the party's director of campaigning, Tony Lee; and the party's chief data officer, Nick Mason, have all been pushed into the limelight since the scandal first broke. 

Sources told the Telegraph that it was Scotland Yard that leaked their names to the press in the run-up to the general election. 

A source close to the Cabinet Office told the newspaper that the Met was informed of the date of the election before it was announced in order to allow the force enough time to make logistical and security arrangements.

The Gambling Commission also passed on the names of the suspects to the Met before they were made public, with a source claiming that the Gambling Commission had been ruled out as the source of the leak. 

They said: 'We know that the Met was made aware of the election date in advance of it being called by Rishi. We are also pretty sure these leaks are not coming from the Gambling Commission.

'But the commission has passed on names to the police of people suspected of betting irregularities and we believe that the identities are going into the public domain after that has happened.'

The source added: 'The commission is telling the Met and then almost instantly these names are finding their way to journalists. The suspicion very much is it's the Met [that's leaking].'

Alongside the Tory officials, one of Sunak's close protection officers has been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office over allegedly placing bets on the timing of the election, with the Met bracing for further arrests. 

Five more police officers have also been placed under investigation by the Gambling Commission. 

The use of confidential information to gain unfair advantage when betting may constitute a criminal offence of cheating under section 42 of the Gambling Act.

Those convicted face and unlimited fine or up to two years in jail.

On Thursday night, Mr Sunak admitted he was 'incredibly angry' after the bombshell that the gambling watchdog is investigating several senior Conservatives.

Appearing on the BBC's Question Time election special, Mr Sunak was grilled on the claims.

'I was incredibly angry to learn of these allegations. If anyone's found to have broken the rules, not only should they face the full consequences of the law, I'll make sure they are booted out of the Conservative Party,' he said.

The Tories' political opponents have jumped on the chance to eviscerate the party on light of the scandal. 

Daisy Cooper, the Lib Dem deputy leader, said: 'Sunak must personally intervene to order a Cabinet Office inquiry and suspend all those under investigation.' 

Reform leader Nigel Farage accused the Conservatives of being 'corrupt'.  

MailOnline has contacted the Met Police for comment. 

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2024-06-25T00:30:52Z dg43tfdfdgfd