'Are The Tories Corrupt?' Nick Ferrari Skewers Michael Gove Over Alleged Election Bets

Nick Ferrari asked Michael Gove about the alleged election bets from people linked to the Conservative Party
Nick Ferrari asked Michael Gove about the alleged election bets from people linked to the Conservative Party LBC

Nick Ferrari cornered Michael Gove over the mounting number of people connected to the Tory party who are now under investigation for allegedly placing bets on when the general election would be held.

Last week, Rishi Sunak’s closest parliamentary aide Craig Williams, who is standing for re-election, was put under investigation by the Gambling Commission for placing a bet on the election date just three days before the PM announced it.

Laura Saunders, the Tory candidate in Bristol North West, is also being investigated by the Gambling Commission.

The BBC revealed this morning that she is married to the party’s Director of Campaigns, Tony Lee, who, it has now emerged, took a leave of absence yesterday.

And on Wednesday, one of the prime minister’s close protection officers was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office after allegedly betting on the timing of the election.

This morning, LBC presenter Ferrari asked Gove: “It appears you’re a bit clapped out. Are you also corrupt, as we learn now a number of Conservative candidates seems to have placed bets on what date the election was called – even a police officer?

“Are the Tories corrupt as well?”

Gove said he could not comment on ongoing investigations but he said it was “beyond bad” to use information like that to secure an advantage.

“You can’t – I think – generalise about a whole party composed of tens of thousands of good citizens and then say that just because two people, have been – if they have been – naughty – ”

Ferrari cut in: “If it turns out, if the prime minister can’t have private conversations without people rushing down to Bet360, it’s a bit embarrassing, isn’t it?”

“It’s beyond embarrassing, it’s wrong,” the former minister admitted.

He added it was “not just a betrayal of trust in the prime minister, which is very bad,” but meant other punters are “losing out because of inside information”.

“That means the system does not operate fairly,” Gove concluded.

Gove told BBC Breakfast on Thursday that he was not personally aware Sunak was going to announce the election for July 4, saying: “You could knock me down with a feather.”

In response to the betting allegations, a Conservative spokesman told HuffPost UK: “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.”

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak must find his backbone and suspend Laura Saunders from the Conservative party whilst this investigation is ongoing.

“It would be an utter disgrace if Conservative politicians were shown to be more focussed on turning a quick buck rather than the needs of the country.

“The Conservative party has proven itself utterly unfit for office. Voters are sick to the back teeth of this endless carousel of chaos, sleaze and scandal.”