Gambling watchdog widens election betting inquiry

(FILES) Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak delivers a speech to announce the date of the UK's next general election, at 10 Downing Street in central London, on May 22, 2024. Rishi Sunak is seeking his own public mandate at next month's general election, on July 4, 2024, having been installed as Conservative leader and UK prime minister by his own colleagues in parliament. The 44-year-old former financier was tasked with stabilising the UK economy, and his own notoriously fractious party, when he succeeded Liz Truss in October 2022 after her 49-day premiership imploded. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak announcing the snap election on May 22 - HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP

The inquiry into bets placed on the date of the general election with insider knowledge has been widened to include friends and family of senior Tories.

The Gambling Commission has written to bookmakers to ask them whether people with prior knowledge of the election date may have asked a third party to place a bet for them.

It has also asked for details of bets of £20 or more placed just days before Rishi Sunak announced publicly that there would be a July election.

An initial trawl has brought to light “many names” to investigate, according to reports.

It came as a fourth Tory party figure was named as being under investigation.

The Gambling Commission is looking into claims that Nick Mason, the Conservatives’ chief data officer, placed dozens of bets, which could have generated winnings of thousands of pounds.

Mr Sunak announced on May 22 that the date of the election would be on July 4.

It has since emerged that in the days before, at least two MPs – Craig Williams and Laura Saunders – and two other senior Tory figures, including Mr Mason, placed bets that the poll would be in July.

The other senior Tory figure being investigated is Miss Saunders’s husband, the director of campaigning Tony Lee. He has taken a leave of absence from his role.

Both Mr Williams and Miss Saunders remain Tory candidates for the election.

Kick in the guts

A policeman working in Mr Sunak’s close protection team has also been arrested as part of a separate investigation into bets placed on the timing of the election.

One Conservative candidate said the gambling story was like a “kick in the guts”.

Giles Watling, who is standing in Clacton where he is being opposed by Reform UK’s Nigel Farage, said on Sunday: “This is the last thing we need, this kind of story.

“Every time anything happens over the last seven years while I’ve been an MP, it’s not just the Conservative Party, somebody in the political sphere does something idiotic and then brings us all down and loses any sense of respect.

“We’ve lost a lot of respect in the political classes generally across the board, and this is just another one.”

The former Bread actor added: “Yes, of course, this one hits the Conservative Party because it seems to be Conservative politicians at this time. But if you have 650 people, you’ll always have a couple of fools among them who go and do something really stupid like this.”

The Sunday Times first revealed the claims against Mr Mason.

He is also a Tory councillor in Herefordshire, and has taken a leave of absence from his party role.

A spokesman for Mr Mason told the BBC that it would be inappropriate to comment during an investigation, although he denied any wrongdoing.

Labour’s campaign coordinator Pat McFadden has written to the Gambling Commission asking it to make “public the names of other figures you are investigating”.

“With postal ballots already being sent out, many millions of people will be casting their vote this week,” he said.

“They deserve to have all relevant facts about this scandal at their disposal when doing so.”

The Conservative Party said it was “not permitted to discuss any matters related” to the investigation.

Michael Gove, Levelling Up Secretary, likened the controversy to Partygate, saying: “It’s like one rule for them and one rule for us.”

James Cleverly, the Home Secretary
James Cleverly, the Home Secretary - Jeff Overs/BBC

James Cleverly said he had no reason to believe that ministers had placed bets on the timing of the general election.

Asked on the BBC if any ministers had put a bet on the timing of the election, the Home Secretary said: “Not to my knowledge.”

Mr Cleverly told GB News: “My view has always been the case that people in government should focus on delivering for the people of this country.

“People who are officials of the party should be focused on returning as many Conservative MPs as possible so we can form a government, so that we can serve the British people.

“And anything other than that is inappropriate. So whilst I’m not going to discuss any of the details, people should focus exclusively on the people we’re here to serve.”

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper
Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper - Will Durrant/PA

Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrat deputy leader, said that Mr Sunak should launch a Cabinet Office inquiry into the reports, which she described as an “all-out scandal at the heart of the Conservative Party”.

“People are sick and tired of this sleaze. Day by day, hour by hour, the Conservative Government mire themselves in more of it,” she said.


04:17 PM BST

Roundup of today’s events

Thank you for following our coverage of today’s politics.

Here is a roundup of the latest election news.


03:41 PM BST

I have no reason to believe ministers bet on election date, says Cleverly

James Cleverly said he had no reason to believe that ministers had placed bets on the timing of the General Election as the Tory campaign was hit by further gambling allegations.

The Conservative campaign has been plunged into a deeper crisis as the party’s chief data officer took a leave of absence amid claims he placed bets on the election timing.

The party’s data chief Nick Mason is taking the leave of absence from Conservative HQ, following director of campaigning Tony Lee in stepping back from crucial roles at the party.

The loss of two senior figures at a time when Labour’s poll lead over the Tories remains stubbornly around 20 points gives Rishi Sunak a further headache in the closing stages of the campaign.

Asked on the BBC if any ministers had put a bet on the timing of the election, Mr Cleverly said: “Not to my knowledge.”


03:15 PM BST

SNP staffer claims ‘stamp fairy’ is helpful to campaigning

John Swinney has been dragged into an SNP election expenses row after one of his staffers claimed a “stamp fairy” was helpful to campaigning, Daniel Sanderson reports.

The First Minister said on Sunday that he was “confident” public money had not been misused by his party, following allegations stamps funded by SNP MSPs’ Holyrood expenses had been secretly siphoned off for election mailshots in breach of strict rules.

Leaked WhatsApp messages between SNP MSPs’ staffers shows discussions over whether the origin of the publicly-funded stamps could be traced. A complaint, apparently from an SNP staffer, suggests they had been passed to Westminster candidates to target voters.

It emerged on Sunday that one SNP staffer had posted in a WhatsApp chat that they were “embarrassed to say I inherited a lot - and I mean a lot - of second class stamps”.

An individual in Mr Swinney’s office replied: “The stamp fairy is very useful when it comes to campaigns!” The original poster then said they would “whisper the amount” of surplus stamps they had when they next met.

The Scottish Parliament has launched an inquiry into the possible misuse of parliamentary stationary, which MSPs are entitled to claim up to £5,500 per year for but must be used only for parliamentary duties.


02:51 PM BST

Rwanda scheme is a ‘gimmick’ and ‘unworkable’, say Lib Dems

Daisy Cooper has echoed parliamentary aide James Sutherland’s comment that the Rwanda scheme is “crap”, describing it as a “gimmick”, “unworkable” and “immoral”.

The deputy leader of the party said: “The Liberal Democrats have always maintained that the Rwanda scheme is just a gimmick, it has been horribly expensive for taxpayers.

“It’s completely unworkable. And we believe that it’s immoral as well.

“It’s unbelievable that the Conservative government has already spent £290 million on this scheme, that amount of money alone could have paid for nearly seven million GP appointments.”


02:40 PM BST

Oust the Conservatives to rid of sleaze in politics, says Lib dem deputy leader

Daisy Cooper has said the Liberal Democrats would have an independent ethics adviser to avoid the gambling scandal.

On the Tory gambling scandal, the deputy leader of the party said: “I think right across the country, people are sick to the back teeth of conservative governments in Westminster, and the SNP government in Scotland as well, being mired in scandal and sleaze.”

She added: “Liberal Democrats would make sure that the ministerial code is put on an independent footing, we would make sure that there was an independent ethics adviser as well.

“Fundamentally, I think the first step in terms of getting rid of the sleazy scandal in public life has to be getting rid of the Conservatives and getting them out of office on the fourth of July.”


02:24 PM BST

Tory party is ‘natural home’ for Reform voters, says Jenrick

Robert Jenrick has insisted the party is the “natural home for Reform voters”, as leadership hopefuls jostled for position ahead of the General Election.

The former immigration minister also said former prime minister Boris Johnson “must always have a place” in the Tories, including in Parliament, should he wish to have one.

Mr Jenrick denied he was firing the first shot in the race to replace Rishi Sunak should the Prime Minister lead the Tories to defeat on July 4.

Labour’s poll lead over the Tories remains around 20 points.

Some pollsters have suggested Labour could be on course for a thumping majority that puts at risk Conservative seats previously considered safe.


02:07 PM BST

Scottish Tory leader warns against voting for Reform

The leader of the Scottish Tories has conceded that the party’s campaign has been “very difficult”, but warned voters against backing Reform UK.

The Conservatives north and south of the border have been under fire in recent weeks over Douglas Ross’s decision to stand in the election in the stead of an ill colleague, the Prime Minister’s decision to leave the D-Day commemorations early and allegations that senior figures bet on the date of the election

Douglas Ross campaigning at the Portsoy Boat Festival today
Douglas Ross campaigning at the Portsoy Boat Festival today - Peter Jolly

Mr Ross told the BBC that voters moving across to Nigel Farage’s Reform UK in Scotland would result in an easier ride for the SNP.

“It has been very difficult and I’m not going to shy away from that,” he told the BBC’s Sunday Show.

“I put myself forward for interview knowing that a number of these issues will come up.


01:45 PM BST

‘My marriage is safe’ jokes Jeremy Hunt in Instagram post

Jeremy Hunt has joked his marriage is safe after he shared a photograph on Instagram of his wife voting for the Conservative party.


01:37 PM BST

James Cleverly celebrates two years of wife being cancer-free

James Cleverly has celebrated two years of his wife being cancer-free, sharing before and after pictures of her treatment.

Susie Cleverly was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer in December 2021.

Following a single mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy she finally finished treatment in April 2023 . 

Her husband has marked the second anniversary of her successful surgery with a post on Instagram.

Mr Cleverly wrote: “Two years ago today the Gorgeous Mrs C went under the knife to have her cancer cut out.

“She is now cancer free, full of energy, and loving life.

“This evening we have had a short break from the election to celebrate two years cancer free. Same dress, different world.”

eforeandafter.jpg Instagram post from James Cleverly about his wife Susie being cancer free Two years ago today the Gorgeous Mrs C went under the knife to have her cancer cut out. She is now cancer free, full of energy, and loving life. This evening we have had a short break from the election to celebrate two years cancer free. Same dress, different world. #cancer #breastcancer #cancerfree
Susie Cleverly in 2023 [L] and 2024 [R]

01:20 PM BST

Labour “supermajority” in Scotland is nonsense, says party leader

Talk of a Labour “supermajority” has been described as “nonsense” by the party’s leader in Scotland.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party has been leading in the polls for months, with senior Conservatives warning of the need for an effective opposition after July 4 as a reason to vote for their party.

But Labour has sought to guard against complacency, with a leaked memo from campaign chief Pat McFadden - as reported by the BBC - talking up the number of undecided or uncertain voters across the UK.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Show, Anas Sarwar said: “It’s nonsense to even suggest we will get a supermajority.

“Not a single vote has been cast.”

He added: “We still don’t have end results from this election and every vote for Scottish Labour in this election is of course to make sure we get rid of the Tories, but it’s also to put Scotland at the heart of a Labour government and to deliver the change that this country needs.”


12:50 PM BST

Nigel Farage is ‘victim blaming’ Ukrainians, says James Cleverly over Russia

James Cleverly accused Nigel Farage of “victim blaming of the worst order” for suggesting the West provoked Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Reform UK leader Mr Farage said he was not an “apologist” for the Russian president, but “what I have been saying for the past 10 years is that the West has played into Putin’s hands, giving him the excuse to do what he wanted to do anyway”.

Home Secretary Mr Cleverly said it was “completely wrong” for a British politician to be “echoing” Mr Putin’s justification for the war.

He told GB News: “There is a strong track record of Western leaders and Western countries trying to bring Russia into the fold as it were, to try and show Russia and Russians that there was a peaceful, prosperous future for them.

“Time and time again now we’ve seen Putin reject the peaceful, more prosperous options and he’s waged conflict in Ukraine, Russian troops in Georgia, Russian troops in other countries around eastern Europe.


12:40 PM BST

Labour candidates’ office smashed in ‘anti-democratic’ attack

The office of Labour candidate Stella Creasy has had its windows smashed and the words “Labour child bombing liars” graffitied on the floor outside.

The former MP for Walthamstow in north-east London, said she would not be intimidated and those responsible “do not belong in the political process”.

Stella Creasy's constituency office in Walthamstow
Stella Creasy's constituency office in Walthamstow

The Metropolitan Police is investigating and Ms Creasy said voters in the constituency would “not be cowed or influenced by violence”.

It is understood that a hammer was used to break the windows and the same individual then scrawled graffiti on the floor.

“Same as those circulating malicious and false leaflets. Police already on this to find you - will press for the strongest penalties for such an anti-democratic attack and I know Walthamstow won’t be cowed or influenced by your violence either.”

Scotland Yard confirmed an investigation has been launched into criminal damage caused to a “political candidate’s office in Orford Road, Walthamstow”.


12:08 PM BST

Ignore the polls, says Lord Mandelson

Lord Mandelson has urged the public to ignore the polls and turn out to vote as the election is not “in the bag” - in a repeat of Tony Blair’s strategy in 1997, reports Daniel Martin, The Telegraph’s deputy political editor.

In the days before his massive majority 27 years ago, the former Labour Prime Minister described “complacency” as the “absolute danger” of the party.

He used every opportunity to remind voters that nothing could be taken for granted, amid fears the polls were overestimating Labour support, or that many Labour voters would stay at home because they felt a win was assured.

With polls showing Sir Keir Starmer is now around 20 points clear of the Conservatives, the party is now trying a similar approach.

Lord Mandelson, seen as the architect of the New Labour branding which swept Sir Tony to power, said he did not believe the polls “for one moment”.


11:51 AM BST

Rishi Sunak should have called general election in autumn, says Philip Hammond

Rishi Sunak should have waited until the autumn to call the general election, Lord Phillip Hammond has said, reports Genevieve Holl-Allen. 

The former chancellor said that the possibility of interest rate cuts over the coming months would have been a “better backdrop” to fight the election.

Lord Hammond told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg: “I don’t personally understand why we’re having an election in July. I would have liked to have seen the election later in the year.

“I’m pretty confident that we will see one or two interest rate cuts between now and November. And I would have preferred the party to have been fighting this election on the basis of interest rates falling and probably on the basis of Mr Farage having disappeared off to the US to play games with candidate Trump as well.

“That would have been a better backdrop from my point of view,” he added.


11:26 AM BST

Shadow education secretary suggests scrapping schools guidance on gender identity

Bridget Phillipson has suggested she will scrap schools guidance banning the teaching of gender identity, reports Daniel Martin, The Telegraph’s deputy political editor.

The shadow education spokeswoman refused to confirm she would keep the schools guidance published by Gillian Keegan earlier this year, which told teachers not to teach gender ideology in any form.

She told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg programme that any guidance needed to acknowledge that trans people exist, and said Ms Keegan’s version contained “partisan and unnecessary language”.

Bridget Phillipson appearing on the BBC1 current affairs programme
Bridget Phillipson appearing on the BBC1 current affairs programme, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. - BBC/Jeff Overs

Ms Phillipson said she was “genuinely sorry” that author JK Rowling has accused Labour of abandoning women over its support for the trans rights agenda.

On Friday Kemi Badenoch told the Telegraph that she was “very, very worried” that Labour would “undo the work we have done on gender questioning guidance for children”.

The guidance drawn up by the Education Secretary states that schools should not teach gender identity. It is out for consultation at the moment and has not yet come into effect.


11:23 AM BST

Support for united Ireland hasn’t advanced in 25 years, says DUP leader

Support for a united Ireland has not advanced one step in the quarter century since Northern Ireland’s peace agreement, the leader of the DUP has insisted.

Gavin Robinson said unionists could not be complacent about the maintenance of the Union, as he acknowledged the need to convince the growing number of non-aligned middle ground voters in Northern Ireland of the case for the constitutional status quo.

In a pre-election interview  Mr Robinson also dismissed suggestions his party has recently performed a U-turn on its endorsement of the UK Government deal on post-Brexit trade barriers that in January persuaded the DUP to drop its two-year protest blockade on powersharing at Stormont and return to devolution.

Countering the accusations of flip-flopping levelled by political rivals, he argued that the DUP had never claimed the Government’s Safeguarding the Union command paper had resolved all the issues around checks and restrictions on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

He insisted he had been consistent in characterising the deal as having made some progress to address his party’s concerns over trade and sovereignty, but that more work was still required on outstanding issues.


11:03 AM BST

Scotland’s desire for independence ‘should not be thwarted’ by Westminster, says Swinney

Scotland’s desire for independence “should not be thwarted” by the UK Government if the SNP wins a majority of seats, the First Minister has said.

John Swinney told LBC: “Keir Starmer accepts that the United Kingdom is a voluntary union, it is a bringing together of the countries of the United Kingdom, in which Scotland is entitled to exercise our right to say ‘well, actually, we want to be governed differently as a consequence of our votes’.

“That should not be thwarted by the actions of the United Kingdom Government.”


10:47 AM BST

SNP leader ‘looking closely’ at banning phones

John Swinney, the SNP leader has been asked whether his party would match Labour’s pledge to ban phones in school classrooms.

He says the SNP is “looking at it closely” but that there are a range of different views on the topic, with some teachers believing phones are helpful for learning.

“There’s a careful route to be constructed here,” he says, adding that we must ensure that we’re supporting teachers.


10:34 AM BST

Let Boris Johnson loose on campaign trail, says Jenrick

Robert Jenrick, the former immigration minister, has said Boris Johnson should be allowed on the campaign trail and described the former prime minister as a “star” of the Conservative movement.

Speaking to Sky’s Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips programme, Mr Jenrick said: “Yes, he should (be allowed).

“Boris paid a heavy price for what happened in the past but Boris is one of the stars of the Conservative movement.

“He’s a brilliant campaigner, a superb Conservative politician and I think at this moment the whole Conservative family needs to unite. We need to rally together.

“I know that Boris has been campaigning and supporting and providing endorsements to Conservative candidates. I think that’s great and I want to see him welcomed and encouraged to do more in this campaign, and in fact in the future.”


10:32 AM BST

Rishi Sunak attacks Starmer over Brexit record

Rishi Sunak has stepped up the Tory attack on Sir Keir Starmer over Brexit on the eighth anniversary of the vote to leave the European Union.

The Prime Minister said: “Eight years ago today, I proudly voted for Brexit. “While we delivered on the will of the people, Keir Starmer tried to reverse your vote. “That’s the difference between us.”

Sir Keir has insisted that while he wants a better trading relationship with the EU, “we are not re-joining the single market or the customs union”.


10:24 AM BST

Voters are genuinely disgusted by election betting scandal, say Labour

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson has said there is “genuine disgust” among voters over the General Election betting allegations.

Asked if she had ever put a bet on a political event, Ms Phillipson told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg: “No, I don’t think, it’s only a few occasions in my life where I’ve ever gambled full stop, it’s not really my thing.

“I don’t think that’s really the point. The issue here is that whether those people who had inside knowledge of what was going on used that information in placing a bet.

“People across the country will place bets, but I think there is genuine disgust amongst so many voters that what we’re seeing here is pretty shocking behaviour.

“Rishi Sunak promised us that his Government would be different, he hasn’t acted against candidates concerned, he should suspend them, and - as Michael Gove has said - this just reminds people of the worst excesses of the Conservatives over the last 14 years.”


10:18 AM BST

SNP leader “confident” that staff have not used taxpayer money in election campaign

John Swinney, the SNP leader, has said he is “confident” that no public funds have been used for election purposes after party staff members were accused of using stamps, earmarked for parliamentary business, for campaigning.

The Scottish Parliament is investigating a complaint that SNP staff members had used the taxpayer-funded stamps “for campaign activities such as sending target letters to hard-to-reach addresses”.

Mr Swinney, on BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, denied the allegations commenting: “I have obviously discussed this with my staff and I have been assured that no parliamentary stamps that have been provided for parliament have been used to support election purposes.”

He said he was “confident” that no public money had been used to prop up SNP campaign

The SNP has struggled to raise money under the shadow of the ongoing police investigation into the party’s finances. Peter Murrell, the party’s former chief executive and Ms Sturgeon’s husband, has been charged with embezzlement.


09:59 AM BST

Vote Reform and risk ‘generation’ of Labour rule, warns Jenrick

Former immigration minister Robert Jenrick has warned Reform voters risk a Labour “supermajority” and a potential “generation” of Labour rule.

Speaking to Sky’s Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips programme, Mr Jenrick said: “I want to deliver this warning to all of those small seat Conservatives across the country ... that if they vote for Reform they are going to usher in, I believe, not just a couple of years of harmful Labour government, but potentially a generation of hard-left Labour rule.”


09:48 AM BST

We will strengthen women-only spaces, says Labour

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, has said a Labour government would take steps to strengthen women-only spaces.

Asked if a biological woman would know for sure that she would not have to share any spaces with a person who is not biologically a woman, Ms Phillipson told Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips on Sky News: “Yes, because the Equality Act allows for that.

“We will also make sure that there is strengthened guidance that sets out the position so that service providers can have absolute confidence in the delivery of services.

“I do believe in the importance of single-sex provision, but I also believe that trans people have the right to appropriate care as well. I don’t think it is about one or the other.”

Ms Phillipson said “statutory guidance” would be set out by a Labour government.


09:46 AM BST

Pupils should not have phones in schools but we won’t make it illegal, says Labour

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, has said pupils should not have access to mobile phones during school hours but refused to say if they would make this legally enforceable.

Ms Phillipson, appearing on BBC’s Sunday Laura Kuenssberg, was pressed whether a Labour government would legally ban mobile phones in schools.

However, Ms Phillipson said schools already have the powers to ban them in classrooms and that she would “expect them to enforce” the policy,

The Telegraph understands that children under 16 could be banned from buying mobile phones under proposals being considered by ministers.

Michelle Donelan, the Technology Secretary, is looking at imposing the restriction in an attempt to protect young people from the harmful effects of social media.


09:37 AM BST

Labour accuses Tories of ‘voter suppression’ strategy

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said a Labour victory is “not a done deal” as she accused the Conservatives of pursuing a “voter suppression” strategy.

Ms Phillipson told Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips on Sky News: “People shouldn’t look at the polls and think this is a done deal.

“If people want change, if they want to turn the corner on 14 years of failure, then they’ve got to get out and vote Labour on July 4.”

Ms Phillipson later said: “I’ve been across the country, there’s a lot of people that have still not made up their minds in this election and in those seats a couple of hundred votes will be the difference between a Labour government or five more years of the Conservatives.”

She added: “What the Tories are doing - very, very cynically - is a voter suppression strategy. They want people to think this is all in the bag, don’t worry about it, you don’t need to come out and vote.

“Worse than that, I think it’s an attempt to distract from their manifesto, which if they got the chance to implement that would crash the economy just like Liz Truss did.”


09:30 AM BST

Rwanda policy is ‘crap’ says Cleverly’s parliamentary aide

James Cleverly has said his parliamentary aide James Sunderland was making a “counter intuitive statement” for dramatic effect when he described the Rwanda policy as “crap”.

The Home Secretary told Sky News’ Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips he was surprised by the story about the leaked recording because Mr Sunderland was “very supportive” of the policy.

“I’ve had a conversation with him and I’ve also heard the recording. And it’s clear what he’s doing is he’s putting forward a very counter intuitive statement to grab the attention of the audience,” Mr Cleverly said.

“If you actually listen to what he then went on to say, he was saying that the impact, the effect, is what matters.”

The Home Secretary added: “He did it clearly for dramatic effect to grab the attention of the audience.

“But he is - and it’s clear in the recording - completely supportive of the deterrent effect that the Rwanda policy has.”


09:24 AM BST

No Cabinet ministers were involved in betting election scandal, says Cleverly

James Cleverly has said he would not defend any Tories found to have placed bets on the election date.

The Home Secretary told Sky News: “I’m not in any way going to defend people who placed bets on that.

“There is an investigation by the Gambling Commission and we have been told very, very clearly that we are not to discuss the investigations.”

He said that “my understanding is that it is a small number of individuals” involved.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock (14553926at) Home Secretary JAMES CLEVERLY is seen outside BBC after appearing on Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg. James Cleverly on Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, London, England, United Kingdom - 23 Jun 2024
James Cleverly outside the BBC's Broadcasting House - Tayfun Salci/Shutterstock

Asked if any Cabinet ministers were involved, he said: “I’ve got no reason to believe any of them were, at all.”

Asked why Rishi Sunak was not sacking anyone who admitted placing a bet, Mr Cleverly said it was a matter for the Gambling Commission to investigate.


09:23 AM BST

Labour victory is not a ‘done deal,’ says Starmer’s election chief

Sir Keir Starmer’s election chief has said that the polls may not be right and that a Labour government is not a “done deal”.

Pat McFadden, the party’s national campaign co-ordinator, has said current polling risks misleading voters into believing that the election’s outcome is “pre-determined.”

A recent poll carried out by Savanta, the market research company, on behalf of the Telegraph , showed Labour on 42 per cent the Tories on 19 per cent and Reform on 16 per cent

Mr McFadden in an article for the Observer, wrote: “It is one thing for polls to take a snapshot of public opinion. It’s another entirely for them to influence voting behaviour.

“Particularly when it is reinforced by a cynical voter suppression strategy from the Tory party telling people the outcome is known so they don’t have to bother to vote.”

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