Sunak aide says he made 'huge error of judgement' placing bet on election date

It was reported that Ladbrokes, which Mr Williams allegedly used to make the "flutter", flagged the bet as potentially problematic as he is considered a "politically exposed person". Credit:

One of Rishi Sunak's aides has apologised after admitting to placing a bet on the date of the election before it was announced.

Craig Williams, who served as the prime minister’s parliamentary private secretary and is the Conservative candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, said on Thursday: “I clearly made a huge error of judgement, that’s for sure, and I apologise.

"I will not be expanding on my statement because it’s an independent process. The Gambling Commission are looking at it now.”

On Wednesday, Mr Williams posted on X that he had been contacted by a journalist about Gambling Commission inquiries into one of his accounts.

He wrote: "I put a flutter on the General Election some weeks ago. This has resulted in some routine inquiries and I confirm I will fully cooperate with these.

"I don't want it to be a distraction from the campaign. I should have thought through how it looks."

According to a report by The Guardian, published shortly after the statement, Mr Williams placed a £100 bet on a July election just three days before the date was named.

It was reported that Ladbrokes, which Mr Williams allegedly used to make the "flutter", flagged the bet as potentially problematic as he is considered a "politically exposed person".

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Paymaster General described the allegations as "utterly extraordinary".

"Rishi Sunak has sat on this information for more than a week but has lacked any backbone to take action. Once again Rishi Sunak has been exposed as utterly weak," he said.

“After all the Tory financial scandals, this is more evidence that the Tories have learned nothing, haven’t changed, and if given five more years, the chaos will just continue.“

ITV News is unable to independently verify the information about how long the prime minister has been aware of the incident.

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “We are aware of contact between a Conservative candidate and the Gambling Commission. It is a personal matter for the individual in question.

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

On May 22 Rishi Sunak made the surprise announcement that the General Election would take place on July 4.

The leader of Plaid Cymru has since joked he would “put a fiver” on Sir Keir Starmer being the next prime minister.

Rhun ap Iorwerth called for voters to support his party in the General Election, to ensure a Welsh voice is heard and stop Labour from acting “with impunity”.

Speaking on the BBC’s Panorama programme, he said Sir Keir’s party was almost certain to win and Wales’s voice needed to be heard.

He said: “I think Keir Starmer is going to be prime minister in four weeks’ time.

“Having covered politics long enough, I think the evidence points in that direction.

“He will become prime minister regardless of how Wales votes and that’s a key factor for people to consider in Wales.”

Mr ap Iorwerth told the host, Nick Robinson, that the choice was whether voters give Labour a “huge majority to act with impunity” or “ensure that there’s plurality of thoughts and ideas and energy in the Houses of Parliament”.

When Robinson pushed back on the outcome being known, the Plaid leader joked: “I’ll put a fiver on it.”

The candidates for Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr are:

  • Jeremy Brignell-Thorp - Green Party

  • Oliver Lewis - Reform UK

  • Glyn Preston - Liberal Democrats

  • Elwyn Vaughan - Plaid Cymru

  • Craig Williams - Conservative

  • Steve Witherden - Labour

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