Sunak Protection Officer Arrested Over Election Bets

Officer is suspected of using inside information to bet on British election date
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2024 2:01 PM CDT
Sunak Protection Officer Arrested Over Election Bets
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gestures during a visit to Sizewell in Suffolk, England, Wednesday June 19, 2024.   (James Manning/PA via AP)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a surprise election last month—and investigators believe one of his protection officers saw it as an opportunity to cash in. Police say an officer working as part of Sunak's close protection team was arrested this week on suspicion of misconduct in public office, the BBC reports. The Metropolitan Police said they were contacted Friday by the country's Gambling Commission over suspicious bets made on the timing of the election, which hadn't been expected until later this year.

"The Gambling Commission continues to lead the investigation into the alleged betting offences, and our investigation is running in parallel to that," the force said in a statement. Sources tell Sky News that the officer, a member of the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command, placed several bets, at least one of which was three figures. Bookies in the UK take bets on a wide variety of subjects and it's illegal to place bets using inside information, the AP reports.

The officer, who has been suspended from duty while the investigation continues, isn't the only person suspected of using inside information to bet on the election date. Conservative Party candidate Craig Williams, a Sunak aide, is being investigated by the Gambling Commission over allegations he placed a bet of $128 on a July election three days before Sunak made the announcement. "I clearly made a huge error of judgement, that's for sure, and I apologize," he told the BBC last week. (More Rishi Sunak stories.)

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