Kevin Craig says he is 'deeply sorry to the many dedicated and loyal local Labour Party volunteers who have been supporting my campaign'
Kevin Craig says he is 'deeply sorry to the many dedicated and loyal local Labour Party volunteers who have been supporting my campaign'
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UK Elections: Labour suspends candidate for betting against himself

Labour was dragged into the election betting scandal on Tuesday after it suspended a candidate who put a wager on himself losing his seat.

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The party withdrew its support for Kevin Craig shortly after being informed by the Gambling Commission that he was part of its investigation.

He later admitted making the bet, saying it had been a “stupid error of judgement”.

The announcement came after the Conservatives suspended two candidates over allegations that they placed bets on the date of the snap election.

In a separate investigation, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that the Gambling Commission was looking at five more police officers over election bets after one from Rishi Sunak’s close protection team was arrested.

The revelations will prove awkward for Sir Keir Starmer, who has repeatedly attacked Mr Sunak over the betting scandal engulfing the Tories.

Labour’s leader acted swiftly after accusing the Prime Minister of a “lack of leadership” for failing to cut ties with his candidates sooner.

A party spokesman said: “With Keir Starmer as leader, the Labour Party upholds the highest standards for our parliamentary candidates, as the public rightly expects from any party hoping to serve, which is why we have acted immediately in this case.”

Mr Craig was selected by Labour to contest Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, a Tory stronghold with a majority of more than 23,000.

He admitted putting a bet on himself to lose the race for the seat “a few weeks ago”, saying that he planned to give any winnings to local charities.

In a statement, he said: “While I did not place this bet with any prior knowledge of the outcome, this was a huge mistake, for which I apologise unreservedly.

“I have so much respect for how Keir Starmer has changed the Labour Party and I have been fighting so hard to win this seat and change the country alongside him.

“I deeply regret what I have done and will take the consequences of this stupid error of judgement on the chin.

“I am deeply sorry to the many dedicated and loyal local Labour Party volunteers who have been supporting my campaign. I will comply fully with the investigation.”

Mr Craig, an expert in crisis management, will still appear on the ballot paper for Labour as the legal deadline for registering candidates has passed.

But if he wins the constituency on July 4 he will sit in Parliament as an independent MP.

The seat was last held by Labour as it was previously represented by Dr Dan Poulter, who defected from the Conservatives in April.

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