UK

Constable working in PM’s protection team arrested over alleged election bets

The Metropolitan Police said the police constable was taken into custody and subsequently bailed pending further inquiries.

The officer was working as part of the Prime Minister’s protection team
The officer was working as part of the Prime Minister’s protection team (Joe Giddens/PA)

A police constable working as part of the Prime Minister’s protection team has been arrested over alleged bets made related to the timing of the General Election.

The Metropolitan Police said the officer was taken into custody on Monday on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and has since been bailed pending further inquiries.

In a statement, the force said it was informed by the Gambling Commission that a police constable from the Met’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Command was being investigated over the alleged bets.

Police said the matter was immediately referred to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and the officer was also removed from operational duties.

The matter has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), who said they will “make a decision on the level of IOPC involvement in due course”.

The Gambling Commission is leading the investigation into the alleged betting offences, which is running parallel to the Met’s probe.

In a statement, the Gambling Commission said: “Currently the commission is investigating the possibility of offences concerning the date of the election.

“This is an ongoing investigation, and the commission cannot provide any further details at this time.”

According to the Crown Prosecution Service’s website, misconduct in a public office “concerns serious wilful abuse or neglect of the power or responsibilities”.

Those who can be accused of the offence include judges, bishops, MPs, civil servants, army officers, prison staff and police constables.

Liberal Democrats deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak must call a Cabinet Office inquiry into what is shaping up to be yet another scandal at the heart of Government.

“This stinks of yet more sleaze and answers are needed. An inquiry is needed to understand who knew what and when.”

Mr Sunak previously said it was “very disappointing” that one of his closest aides and the current Conservative candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr in Wales, Craig Williams, had allegedly placed a bet on the date of the General Election.

Mr Williams, who was the Tory MP for Montgomery until the election was called, is alleged to have placed a £100 bet on a July polling day some three days before Mr Sunak named the date as July 4, at a Ladbrokes in his constituency.

He previously said he had clearly made a “huge error of judgment” but refused to say whether he placed a bet on the basis of insider information.