Home Politics Close Protection Officer For PM Rishi Sunak Arrested Over Election Bet

Close Protection Officer For PM Rishi Sunak Arrested Over Election Bet

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Jeff Overs/BBC

A close protection officer for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been arrested and suspended over allegations of betting on the timing of the upcoming general election, according to SkyNews.

The officer, a member of the Metropolitan Police’s Royalty and Specialist Protection (RaSP) Command, is responsible for the personal security of high-profile VIPs, including government ministers and members of the Royal Family.

The officer is suspected of placing several bets, with at least one wager being a three-figure sum.

The arrest of the police constable followed closely on the heels of revelations concerning Craig Williams, Sunak’s parliamentary aide, who is also under investigation for allegedly betting on a July election date.

The Gambling Commission alerted the Met Police on Friday, June 14, about their investigation into the constable’s betting activities, SkyNews stated.

The Metropolitan Police immediately referred the matter to their Directorate of Professional Standards, which launched an investigation.

The officer in question was promptly removed from operational duties. The Met released a statement, “The officer was arrested on Monday, June 17, on suspicion of misconduct in public office. He was taken into custody and bailed pending further enquiries.”

The Gambling Commission continues to lead the investigation into the alleged betting offences, with the Met’s investigation running concurrently.

The commission has confirmed it is “investigating the possibility of offences concerning the election date.”

The matter has also been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) for further review. An IOPC spokesperson stated, “We have received a mandatory referral from the Metropolitan Police Service and will decide on the level of IOPC involvement in due course.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed disappointment over the news that his close aide, Craig Williams, had placed a bet on the general election date.

Williams, who serves as Sunak’s parliamentary private secretary (PPS), is under scrutiny after it was revealed he placed a bet just days before the announcement of the July 4 election date. Williams has yet to confirm whether he had insider information when he made the bet.

In a statement, Williams acknowledged his actions, saying his “flutter” on the election had prompted some “routine inquiries” and that he would “fully cooperate with these.” He added, “I don’t want it to be a distraction from the campaign. I should have thought through how it looks.”

Rishi Sunak had, on May 22, announced the July 4 general election in a statement outside Downing Street.

Read more: South Africa Expected To Maintain Interest Rate As Inflation Holds Steady In May

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