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One of Rishi Sunak's bodyguards arrested over alleged bets on UK election date

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One of Rishi Sunak's bodyguards arrested over alleged bets on UK election date
News

News

One of Rishi Sunak's bodyguards arrested over alleged bets on UK election date

2024-06-20 01:27 Last Updated At:01:30

LONDON (AP) — One of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s police bodyguards has been arrested over alleged bets on the date of Britain’s national election made before it was announced, authorities said Wednesday.

The Metropolitan Police force said that a constable in the Royalty and Specialist Protection Command was arrested Monday on suspicion of misconduct in public office.

The arrest came after the Gambling Commission contacted the force. The commission, which regulates the gambling industry, confirmed it was investigating “the possibility of offences concerning the date of the election."

Sunak announced May 22 that an election for Parliament would be held on July 4. The date had been a closely guarded secret and the announcement took many people in Sunak’s governing Conservative Party by surprise. Most had assumed the election would be held in the fall.

Betting is a popular activity in the U.K., with bookmakers offering odds on everything from sports to elections and the winners of literary prizes. Cheating by acting on inside information is a criminal offense.

The arrested officer was released on bail pending further inquiries and has been removed from duty while the force conducts its own investigation. The officer was not named. British police usually do not identify suspects until they are charged.

Last week Sunak aide Craig Williams, who is running to be reelected to Parliament, acknowledged he was being investigated by the Gambling Commission for placing a 100 pound ($128) bet on a July election before the date had been announced.

Williams said the regulator was making “some routine inquiries and I confirm I will fully cooperate with these.”

“I don’t want to be a distraction from the campaign, I should have thought through how it looked," he said.

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gestures during a visit to Sizewell in Suffolk, England, while on the General Election campaign trail, Wednesday June 19, 2024. (James Manning/PA via AP)

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak gestures during a visit to Sizewell in Suffolk, England, while on the General Election campaign trail, Wednesday June 19, 2024. (James Manning/PA via AP)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese President To Lam on Thursday became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of party chief Nguyen Phu Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement.

Nguyen Phu Trong, who was elected to a third term as general secretary in 2021, has dominated Vietnamese politics since he became party chief in 2011. He is an ideologue who views corruption as the gravest threat facing the party.

As Vietnam’s top security official, Lam led Trong’s sweeping anti-graft campaign until May, when he became president following the resignation of his predecessor, who stood down after being caught by the campaign.

Lam is widely viewed as the top candidate to replace Trong when the latter's term ends in 2026. He spent over four decades in the Ministry of Public Security before becoming the minister in 2016 and had been a key figure in the execution of anti-corruption measures.

The party's powerful Politburo has now asked Lam to “preside over the work of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, and the Secretariat," according to a statement from the party’s central office.

The statement also confirmed Trong's ill health which had long been rumored but didn't give any further details.

FILE - Vietnamese General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong addresses the media in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Sept. 10, 2023. Vietnamese President To Lam on Thursday July 18, 2024 became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement. (Luong Thai Linh/Pool Photo via AP, File)

FILE - Vietnamese General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong addresses the media in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Sept. 10, 2023. Vietnamese President To Lam on Thursday July 18, 2024 became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement. (Luong Thai Linh/Pool Photo via AP, File)

FILE - Vietnamese President To Lam speaks during a press briefing with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 20, 2024. To Lam on Thursday July 18, 2024 became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of party chief Nguyen Phu Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang, Pool, File)

FILE - Vietnamese President To Lam speaks during a press briefing with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, on June 20, 2024. To Lam on Thursday July 18, 2024 became the caretaker of the Communist Party because of party chief Nguyen Phu Trong's poor health, the party said in a statement. (AP Photo/Minh Hoang, Pool, File)

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