UK’s Labour Suspends Candidate for Betting Against Himself

(Bloomberg) -- The UK’s main opposition Labour Party suspended a candidate for betting against himself ahead of the upcoming general election, the latest controversy around election-related bets that had previously only blighted Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party.

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Kevin Craig, who was standing for Labour in the constituency of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said he’d made a “stupid error of judgement” and was “deeply sorry” for what he’d done. A Labour spokesperson confirmed his suspension.

“A few weeks ago when I thought I would never win this seat I put a bet on the Tories to win here with the intention of giving any winnings to local charities,” he said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter. “While I did not place this bet with any prior knowledge of the outcome, this was a huge mistake, for which I apologise unreservedly.”

Labour’s swift suspension of Craig comes after a series of damaging revelations around election-related bets placed by Tories: on Tuesday the Conservative Party withdrew support from two candidates who’d placed bets on the timing of the general election date, a scandal that has overshadowed the final weeks of Sunak’s bid to be re-elected.

Sunak had been criticized for not moving quickly to take action against those involved, and there are also probes into bets placed by Tory party officials and a police officer in the prime minister’s close protection team. The Gambling Commission is probing the bets by officials, and the police officer has been arrested and is subject to a Metropolitan Police investigation.

“This investigation is a separate case to the ongoing election betting investigation,” the Gambling Commission said in a statement, when asked about Kevin Craig. “This is an ongoing criminal investigation, and the Commission cannot provide any further details at this time.”

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