The Tories are morally bankrupt

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak

If you thought the Conservatives had hit the bottom of the moral swamp, think again. The new gambling scandal is proving to be an even more stomach-churning spectacle than Prime Minister Rishi Sunak deserting the D-Day commemorations.

The scandal of Tory candidates and a top official – all of them tellingly close to Sunak – being probed for betting on the General Election date suggests that corruption around the rotten Conservative Party could be even worse than we imagined.

It’s as if the future of Britain is just a crooked game to these people. And if they can’t fix the electoral game, they think they might at least make a few quid by having a fixed bet on the side.

In their final few weeks in Government the Tories look less like a sitting government than a dodgy tenant who, when he knows he’s being evicted, takes the lightbulbs and toilet seat with him.

The latest round of the gambling scandal has seen Conservative Party director of campaigns, Tony Lee, “step back” from his role – just as the election campaign enters the final furlong.

Lee had to go after news broke that his wife Laura Saunders, parliamentary candidate for Bristol North West and a former Tory head office staffer, is under investigation by the Gambling Commission for betting on the election date before it was announced. We then learned that Lee is also being investigated by the Commission.

This scandal came to light when another Tory candidate, Craig Williams – who just happens to be prime minister Rishi Sunak’s closest parliamentary aide – was exposed and investigated for betting £100 on a July election at odds of 5/1.

Williams admitted that he’d made a “huge error of judgement”, as if he had accidentally fallen into a betting shop in his Montgomery and Glyndwr constituency and mistakenly placed the bet.

Betting on an event that you might have “insider knowledge” about is not only morally bankrupt, but could also be a criminal offence. A serving police officer in Sunak’s personal protection has already been arrested and suspended on suspicion of “misconduct in public office”, reportedly for betting on the election date.

I guess the PC isn’t technically part of the Conservative party but maybe the stink of corruption can just rub off on anybody who gets too close and personal with the top Tories.

To recap: those involved so far are Sunak’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, his campaigns director (and wife), and his police driver. The rot comes from the top.

And who knows where it ends? Figures from Betfair, the online betting exchange, show that bets placed on there being a July general election shot up from a couple of hundred pounds on May 20th to almost £6,000 on May 21st – the day before Sunak stood in the pouring rain and told us it would be July 4th .

How many of them were at it? That’s a lot of “errors of judgement”.

The Conservatives have spent years lurching from one scandal to another, ranging from the “partygate” affair that brought down Boris Johnson to serious allegations of a sexual nature; no fewer than 10 Tory MPs have had the party whip withdrawn for alleged sexual misconduct since the 2019 general election.

It all looks rather like the last decadent days of the Roman empire, but on a tawdry, tacky scale. After 14 years in government marked by broken promises and betrayals, the Tories are finished and they know it. The latest polls show that they are set to get wiped out on July 4th, with up to three quarters of the Cabinet losing their seats. And they fully deserve what’s coming to them.

The one thing we can bet the house on is that no Tory candidates or officials will be wasting their money betting on their party winning the election (current odds: 40/1).

On the other hand, as a betting man, with our support surging around the country, I am willing to make the wager of my life with the people behind some out-of-date polls that Reform UK will win seats and surprise a lot of people on July 4th.

We are the real opposition to the coming Labour government. Time for former Tory voters to finally vote with their hearts and join the revolt against the corrupt political establishment.