Rishi Sunak's close protection officer arrested and suspended over alleged bets on election date

A close protection officer for Rishi Sunak has been arrested and suspended over alleged bets about the timing of the general election, Sky News understands.

The officer is a member of the Met's Royalty and Specialist Protection (RaSP) Command, which provides personal close protection to ministerial VIPs and members of the Royal Family.

Sky News understands that several bets were placed, with at least one of them being a three-figure sum.

The police constable's arrest comes days after it emerged Mr Sunak's close parliamentary aide Craig Williams is facing an investigation after he bet on a July election date.

The Gambling Commission informed the Met Police on Friday 14 June that they were investigating the activity by the police constable.

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The Met has said the matter was immediately referred to officers in the force's directorate of professional standards, who opened an investigation. The officer was also removed from operational duties.

The Met added in a statement: "The officer was subsequently arrested on Monday 17 June on suspicion of misconduct in public office. He was taken into custody and bailed pending further enquiries."

The force continued: "The Gambling Commission continues to lead the investigation into the alleged betting offences, and our investigation is running in parallel to that."

The Gambling Commission has confirmed it is "investigating the possibility of offences concerning the date of the election".

It added: "This is an ongoing investigation, and the commission cannot provide any further details at this time."

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

An IOPC spokesperson said: "We have received a mandatory referral from the Metropolitan Police Service and will make a decision on the level of IOPC involvement in due course."

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PM's aide being investigated

Mr Sunak said he was "disappointed" after it emerged last week that Mr Williams had bet on a July election.

Mr Williams, who was the PM's parliamentary private secretary (PPS), is facing an investigation after he "put a flutter on the general election" just days before the 4 July date was announced.

A PPS is a backbench MP who acts as the prime minister's "eyes and ears" in the Commons.

He has so far refused to confirm whether he had any inside information when he placed the bet.

In a statement, he said his "flutter" on the election had prompted some "routine inquiries" and that he would "fully co-operate with these".

"I don't want it to be a distraction from the campaign. I should have thought through how it looks," he added.