A second Conservative candidate is being looked into by the Gambling Commission over a bet relating to the timing of the general election, the BBC can reveal.

Laura Saunders is the partyโ€™s candidate in Bristol North West and has worked for the party since 2015.

It is understood she worked most recently in the partyโ€™s International Division โ€“ a department of Conservative Campaign Headquarters which liaises with other centre-right parties around the world.

It is not known when the bet was placed or for how much money.

A Conservative Party spokesman told the BBC: โ€œWe have been contacted by the Gambling Commission about a small number of individuals. As the Gambling Commission is an independent body, it wouldnโ€™t be proper to comment further, until any process is concluded.โ€

Ms Saunders has been approached for comment and has not offered a response.

Image source, Laura Saunders

Ms Saunders is the second prospective parliamentary candidate being looked into by the gambling regulator.

Mr Williams, the Conservative candidate for Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, allegedly placed a ยฃ100 bet on a July election three days before Mr Sunak announced it would happen on 4 July.

The confidential use of information in order to gain an unfair advantage when betting “may constitute an offence of cheating under Section 42 of the Gambling Act, which is a criminal offence”, according to a Gambling Commission spokesperson.

Separately, on Wednesday the BBC revealed a police officer from the prime ministerโ€™s close protection team had been arrested for allegedly betting on the timing of the general election.

The officer has been suspended and is under investigation for potential misconduct in public office.

The Met was contacted by the Gambling Commision on 14 June, which informed the force that it was investigating alleged bets made by a police constable from the Met’s Royalty and Specialist Protection Command.

The Met told the BBC: โ€œThe matter was immediately referred to officers in the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, who opened an investigation, and the officer was also removed from operational duties.โ€

The officer was arrested on Monday, then taken into custody and bailed pending further enquiries.

  • Caroline Gooch, Liberal Democrats
  • Darren Jones, Labour
  • Scarlett O’Connor, Reform UK
  • Mary Page, Green
  • Laura Saunders, Conservative
  • Ben Smith, SDP

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