'Tawdry' Conservative Party's campaign is marred by election betting scandal, Ruth Davidson says

The Conservative Party is seen as "tawdry", Ruth Davidson has said, as two of its candidates are being investigated over alleged bets placed on the election date.

The Gambling Commission is looking into two Tory candidates over alleged wagers on the date of the 4 July election.

An industry source has told Sky News that "more names" are being looked into, but police are so far "not involved".

Speaking on the Electoral Dysfunction podcast with Sky News political editor Beth Rigby, and former broadcaster and presenter Carol Vorderman, the former leader of the Scottish Tories waded into the fallout of the alleged betting scandal.

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"What an absolute shit show. Firstly, I mean, how tawdry is it?" she said.

She described it as akin to "insider trading" and criticised Rishi Sunak's response, saying he had repeatedly failed to get out in front and take control of events.

Speaking on the podcast, Ms Vorderman added: "The Tory party as they stand is just sleazy, it's grubby.

"And it has gone on and on and on.

"From outside the Westminster bubble, whatever Sunak says, people now openly laugh at Tory politicians whenever they're out of your studio Beth.

"Whenever they're in front of an audience they don't command any respect whatsoever."

The trio also discussed tactical voting and why candidates target some seats more than others.

Tory candidates Craig Williams and Laura Saunders are both under investigation. Ms Saunders is married to the party's director of campaigns Tony Lee.

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It also emerged this week that one of Mr Sunak's close protection police officers has been arrested over alleged bets on the timing of the election as well.

During a leader's event on BBC Question Time, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was "incredibly angry" to learn of the allegations and said if anyone had broken the rules "they should face the full force of the law".

However, he refused to suspend the candidates while the investigations were ongoing.

It comes as the election campaigns approach the last two weeks before the country heads to the polls.

Email the team electoraldysfunction@sky.uk, post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.