Rishi Sunak's close protection officer arrested for alleged election date betting | Political news

The police officer's arrest comes weeks after it was revealed that Mr Sunak's close parliamentary aide Craig Williams was under investigation after betting on an election in July.

By Tom Gillespie, journalist @TomGillespie1

Friday June 21, 2024 6:35 p.m., United Kingdom

A close protection officer for Rishi Sunak has been arrested over alleged betting on the general election schedule, according to Sky News.

The officer is a member of the Met's Royalty and Special Protection (RaSP) command, which provides close personal protection to ministerial figures and members of the royal family.

Sky News understands several bets were placed, including at least one in three figures.

The police officer's arrest comes days after Mr Sunak's identity was revealed. close parliamentary aide Craig Williams is under investigation after betting on the July election date.

The Gambling Commission informed the Met Police on Friday June 14 that it was investigating the police officer's activity.

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The Met said the matter was immediately referred to officers from the Police Professional Standards Directorate, who began an investigation. The officer was removed from operational duties and assigned to restricted duties.

The Met added in a statement: “The police officer was subsequently arrested on Monday June 17 on suspicion of misconduct in public office. He was taken into custody and released on bail pending for further investigation.”

The Prime Minister “disappointed” by his aid’s gamble

The police continued: “The Gambling Commission continues to investigate the alleged betting offenses and our investigation is running in parallel.”

The Gambling Commission confirmed it was “investigating possible infringements relating to the election date”.

He added: “This is an ongoing investigation and the commission cannot provide further details at this time.”

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The matter has also been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We have received a mandatory referral from the Metropolitan Police Service and will make a decision on the level of IOPC involvement in due course.”

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PM's aide under investigation

Mr Sunak said he was “disappointed” after learning last week that Mr Williams had bet on an election in July.

Mr Williams, who was the Prime Minister's Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS), is under investigation after “rocking the general election” just days before the July 4 date was announced.

Craig Williams admitted to betting on the election date. Photo: PA

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A PPS is a backbencher who acts as the Prime Minister's “eyes and ears” in the House of Commons.

He has so far refused to confirm whether he had inside information at the time he placed the bet.

In a statement, he said his “hesitations” over the election had given rise to “routine investigations” and that he would “cooperate fully with them.”

“I don't want this to distract from the campaign. I should have thought about what that would look like,” he added.

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