A police constable working as part of the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s protection team was arrested this week for allegedly making bets related to the timing of the general election, police told CNN.

The officer was arrested on Monday “on suspicion of misconduct in public office,” a Metropolitan Police spokesperson said Wednesday.

“We can confirm that on Friday, June 14, the Met were contacted by the Gambling Commission who informed us that they were investigating alleged bets made by a police constable from the Met’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Command, which were related to the timing of the General Election,” the spokesperson added.

The constable was removed from his operational duties and the matter was immediately referred to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, which opened an investigation, the spokesperson said.

The arrest comes days after the Guardian newspaper reported that a close aide of Sunak made a £100 ($127) bet on a July election date before the prime minister had publicly announced the date. Craig Williams apologised for making the bet, telling the BBC: “I clearly made a huge error of judgment that’s for sure and I apologize.”

The police spokesperson said the country’s Gambling Commission continues to lead its probe into “alleged betting offenses, and our investigation is running in parallel to that.”

 

When asked for comment, the prime minister’s press office told CNN they had nothing to add to the Met police statement.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday afternoon shortly before the police released their statement, Sunak’s Conservative Party posted a campaign ad on social media that said, “If you bet on Labour, you can never win,” alongside a video of a roulette wheel.

Many people in the comments have since reacted by highlighting the news of the police constable’s arrest for allegedly betting on the election.

The UK general election will take place on July 4. Sunak is down around 20 points in opinion polls, which also suggest the opposition Labour Party is on course to win for the first time since 2005.

Sunak’s floundering campaign was further derailed at the start of June when he apologized for leaving the 80th anniversary commemorations of D-Day early in order to film a TV interview, a decision that prompted anger and disbelief in Britain.

A police officer working as part of the prime minister’s close protection team has been arrested over alleged bets about the timing of the general election, the BBC has learned.

The officer was initially suspended by the Metropolitan Police and then arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office.

Mr Sunak announced 4 July as the date of the general election on 22 May, taking much of Westminster by surprise.

The Gambling Commission is looking into alleged betting offences connected to the date of the election.

The Met was contacted by the watchdog last Friday, which informed the force that it was investigating alleged bets made by a police constable from the Met’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Command.

The Met told the BBC: “The matter was immediately referred to officers in the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, who opened an investigation, and the officer was also removed from operational duties.”

The officer was arrested on Monday, then taken into custody and bailed pending further enquiries.

The matter has also been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Close protection officers are bodyguards who protect high-profile individuals including members of the Royal Family and top government ministers, while they are travelling and during their daily activities.

The Met Police said the Gambling Commission continues to lead the investigation into the alleged betting offences, and “our investigation is running in parallel to that”.

A spokesperson for the Gambling Commission said it “regulates gambling in the interests of consumers and the wider public.”

“Currently the commission is investigating the possibility of offences concerning the date of the election,” the statement said.