Sunak should suspend betting scandal Tories, says Ruth Davidson

25 June 2024, 07:17 | Updated: 25 June 2024, 09:48

Rishi Sunak should ignore the Gambling Commission and suspend those being investigated over the Tory betting scandal, former Scottish Conservative leader Baroness Ruth Davidson has said.

The Conservative election campaign has been plunged into crisis as two Tory candidates, two officials, and an officer from Mr Sunak's close protection team, are being investigated by the Gambling Commission over the placing of bets on the timing of the election.

Sky News understands many more people are being looked into as part of the investigation, and more police are being looked into to see if they are involved.

The prime minister has not suspended any of the people being investigated, saying it is up to the independent Gambling Commission to find out what went on before the party takes any action.

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But Baroness Davidson, speaking on Sky News' Electoral Dysfunction podcast, said Mr Sunak should ignore the watchdog and suspend those being investigated.

She said: "The Gambling Commission are very, very clear about what you're not allowed to say when somebody's being investigated by the Gambling Commission.

"But I'm sorry, you're the prime minister of a G7 nation in the middle of an election campaign when you're fighting for your life.

"If the Gambling Commission want to shout at you for suspending somebody and saying that, just do it. That's what leadership is."

She said leadership means being a role model and acting "how you would like the people that you work beside and who are learning from you and working for you" to act.

Baroness Davidson said she thought "nothing was going to be worse than leaving D-Day early" - but the betting allegations are "reinforcing already bad opinions".