Politicians who wager on the overall election date are ‘silly’ says Iain Duncan Smith | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Sir Iain Duncan Smith has blasted politicians who gamble on work as he warned it makes it appear like a “game”.

The former Tory chief hit out as Westminster is embroiled in a significant betting scandal over the date of the overall election.

He stated playing is “now rife across the UK” and is “massively damaging” for individuals and their households.

And he warned that anyone who does wager on work have to be “very stupid”.

Speaking at an Unherd occasion hosted by writer Latika Bourke, Sir Iain was requested in regards to the row that has overshadowed the election marketing campaign.

“So when people say do MPs gamble? The whole country gambles at the moment and MPs are just like the rest of them,” he stated.

“And I think the problem is, the simple rule is you shouldn’t be gambling on the work that you do because it’s debilitating, it makes it look like it’s a game.

“It’s not a game. It’s about real lives. And I don’t know whether we regulate for it or not, but they should be sensible enough not to do it.

“Just like football. It shouldn’t be gambling on the game that they’re actually about to play. “This is a very similar rule.”

The remarks by the senior Tory, who’s co-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on playing harms, got here after a detailed Cabinet ally of Rishi Sunak has instructed there could also be a case for banning politicians betting on politics.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride stated there must be a debate about political betting however “I would just say that people shouldn’t do it”.

But Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer stated the principles weren’t the issue, politicians utilizing inside information had been.

At least 5 Conservatives are being investigated by the Gambling Commission as a part of its inquiry into wagers on the timing of the July 4 ballot.

And Cabinet minister Alister Jack has admitted putting bets on the election date, though he’s not being investigated by the regulator as a result of he staked the cash earlier within the yr, earlier than the interval coated by the watchdog’s probe into the alleged use of inside info.

Labour has additionally been drawn into the row, suspending candidate Kevin Craig after he was investigated by the regulator for betting on himself to lose his contest in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich.

Mr Stride informed Times Radio the election row was “deeply disappointing” at a time when the main focus must be on what a possible Labour authorities would do to the nation.

Asked if politicians must be banned from betting on politics, added: “Quite possibly and I think we do need to have a debate about it.

“My personal view, I would just say that people shouldn’t do it, but I think we should have a debate about it more broadly.

“But let me be very, very clear: by saying that, I totally recognise that using inside information, as may have been the case for certain individuals in this way, is utterly wrong.”

He stated he didn’t know the size of the Gambling Commission’s investigation, following BBC stories that 15 Conservative candidates and officers had been being checked out by the regulator.

A Gambling Commission spokesman stated the investigation into bets on the timing of the election was “ongoing” and it “cannot provide any further details at this time”.

“We are not confirming or denying the identity of any individuals involved in this investigation.”