Five more police officers alleged to be involved in general election betting scandal

Five more police officers are alleged to have placed bets on the timing of the general election, the Metropolitan Police has said.

The force said it had been passed information about the officers by the Gambling Commission after Rishi Sunak's close protection officer was arrested last week over alleged bets on a July election.

The Conservatives' election campaign has been plunged into crisis over the issue, with two Tory candidates and two party officials currently being investigated by the watchdog.

Live general election updates

A Met Police spokesman said: "We previously confirmed the arrest of a Met officer on Monday, 17 June, for misconduct in public office in relation to bets placed on the timing of the general election.

"The officer - a police constable from the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command - is on restricted duties.

"It is still the case that only one officer is under criminal investigation.

"We have, however, been passed information from the Gambling Commission alleging that five further officers have placed bets related to the timing of the election.

"The officers are based on the Royalty and Specialist Command, the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command and the Central West Basic Command Unit. None of them work in a close protection role.

"Decisions on whether they will be subject to any restrictions will be taken in due course."

Read more:
Manifesto Checker - what are the parties' key pledges?

Does voting actually change anything?

Earlier on Tuesday, the Conservative Party withdrew its support for the two candidates being investigated - Craig Williams and Laura Saunders.

They will still appear on ballot papers as Tory candidates, because it is too late to change them ahead of next Thursday's vote, but they will have no support for the rest of the campaign from the party and cannot call themselves Conservatives.

Whether they will remain as Conservatives after the election depends on the outcome of the Gambling Commission's investigation, it is understood.

The move came after Mr Sunak faced nearly two weeks of pressure to suspend the pair but had previously said he was waiting to see what the commission's investigation came up with.

He has now launched a Conservative Party investigation into the claims.

Officers in the Royalty and Specialist Protection (RaSP) unit provide personal protection for prime ministers, ministers, royalty, ambassadors and visiting heads of state, as well as guarding particular locations.

Those in the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command protect the Houses of Parliament, while officers in the Central West Basic Command Unit cover the London boroughs of Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Kensington and Chelsea.

👉 Click here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts 👈

A Gambling Commission spokesman said: "Currently, the commission is investigating the possibility of offences concerning the date of the election. This is an ongoing investigation, and the commission cannot provide any further details at this time."

"We are not confirming or denying the identity of any individuals involved in this investigation."