A Tory Candidate At The Centre Of A Betting Scandal Has Begged Voters To Stand By Him

Craig Williams delivering his statement.
Craig Williams delivering his statement. X

A Tory candidate embroiled in a betting scandal has begged voters to stand by him hours after being dumped by the party.

Craig Williams, who was Rishi Sunak’s parliamentary aide, is one of two Conservative hopefuls accused of putting money on the date of the general election.

He said he had “committed an error of judgement, not an offence” and was fully co-operating with the Gambling Commission’s investigation into the affair.

Williams, who is standing in Montgmeryshire and Glyndwr, previously admitted having “a flutter” on a July election shortly before the prime minister announced the date.

The Conservatives announced this morning that the party was withdrawing its support for him and the other candidate involved, Laura Saunders.

In a video posted on X today, Williams said: “I remain on the ballot paper on July 4 and I hope to secure your support after years of delivery.

“I committed an error of judgement, not an offence, and I want to reiterate my apology directly to you.

“I’m fully cooperating with routine enquiries from the Gambling Commission and I intend to clear my name.”

He said he had helped “thousands of constituents” since first being elected in 2019.

He added: “For now, however, the most important thing I want to say to you today is I’m committed to my campaign to be elected as your member of parliament and staunch champion.”

The Tories’ campaign director Tony Lee - who is Saunders’ husband - and its chief data officer Nick Mason have both taken a leave of absence from their roles after also being accused of betting on the date of the election.

One of the prime minister’s close protection officers has also been arrested as part of the inquiry, and the Metropolitan Police confirmed today that the Gambling Commission has told them that five further officers also allegedly placed bets on the election date.