Another top Tory official investigated over 'dozens of bets placed on election' but denies wrongdoing

22 June 2024, 23:30

Another top Tory official is being investigated by the Gambling Commission for dozens of bets on the election date.
Another top Tory official is being investigated by the Gambling Commission for dozens of bets on the election date. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Another top Tory official is being investigated by the Gambling Commission for dozens of bets on the election date.

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Nick Mason, chief data officer for the Conservative party, is being investigated for bets placed on the date of the election according to the Sunday Times.

LBC understands that Mason has taken a leave of absence from his role while the matter is investigated by the Gambling Commission.

A Conservative spokesman said: "As instructed by the Gambling Commission, we are not permitted to discuss any matters related to any investigation with the subject or any other persons."

Read more: Tory candidate being investigated over alleged election date bet is 'married to Conservative Director of Campaigns'

Read more: Gove says election bets are ‘betrayal of Prime Minister’s trust’ as second Tory candidate investigated by regulator

A string of people with links to either the Conservative Party or No10 are alleged to have placed bets on the timing of the July 4 election before Mr Sunak announced it.

London, UK. 22nd May, 2024. Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Nick Mason, chief data officer for the Conservative party, is being investigated for bets placed on the date of the election before it was announced according to the Sunday Times. Picture: Alamy

Conservative candidate Laura Saunders, who is one of the people being investigated, said she "will be co-operating with the Gambling Commission".

She is the wife of Tony Lee, the Conservative Director of Campaigns, who has taken "a leave of absence" amid investigations into the betting scandal.

It came after the arrest of one of the Prime Minister's police protection officers and the previous revelation of a Gambling Commission investigation into his parliamentary aide, Craig Williams.

Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Housing Secretary Michael Gove said that the investigations were ‘beyond embarrassing’ for the Conservative party.

Minister for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities Michael Gove during a housing visit in West London, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Thursday June 20, 2024.
Minister for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities Michael Gove during a housing visit in West London, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Thursday June 20, 2024. Picture: Alamy

Asked about how the inquiries reflected on the parties, Mr Gove said: “It’s beyond embarrassing, it’s wrong - it’s also the principle here.

“It’s not just a betrayal of trust in the Prime Minister, which is very bad, it also means that other punters are losing out because of insider information and that means the system isn’t operating fairly.”

He added: “It’s beyond bad to use information like that to secure an advantage.”

A Conservative spokesman said of the inquiry: “We have been contacted by the Gambling Commission about a small number of individuals.

“As the Gambling Commission is an independent body, it wouldn’t be proper to comment further, until any process is concluded.”

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