Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

  • Author, Joe Pike
  • Role, Politics investigations correspondent

A Conservative cabinet minister has admitted placing three bets on the date of the general election in the weeks before Rishi Sunak’s surprise announcement.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack told the BBC that in April he placed a successful bet that the election date would fall between July and September – after losing two similar bets in March.

Mr Jack who is standing down at the election after seven years in Parliament, says he has not breached any rules.

He had originally told the BBC he had made £2,100 from one of the bets – but later claimed his comments were “a joke… I was pulling your leg”.

On Tuesday, Mr Jack admitted he had placed a £20 bet at five to one – which would have netted him a return of £120.

He said he had also “put two bets on in March of £5 each for an election to be held in May and June respectively”.

The prime minister made his surprise election announcement on 22 May.

Mr Jack said in a statement: “I had no knowledge of the date of the election until the day it was called.

“I placed no bets in May and am not under investigation by the Gambling Commission.”

A spokesperson for the Gambling Commission said: “We are not confirming or denying the identity of any individuals involved in this investigation.”

Alister Jack had been telling colleagues and journalists for at least a year that he thought a June or July election made the most strategic sense for his party.

He has represented Scotland in the UK cabinet since 2019, under the premierships of Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.

In February 2024, he expressed “regret” after deleting all of his WhatsApp messages from during the pandemic.

He said he erased his files to free up storage capacity on his phone in November 2021.

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#Cabinet #minister #admits #placing #bets #election #date

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