Inside the betting scandal-hit constituencies the place Labour and Tories have withdrawn assist for candidates | EUROtoday

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Amid the nationwide fallout from the betting scandal, three native occasion campaigns have been left with out candidates, with many constituents now questioning who to assist.

As it’s too late to alter the poll papers, suspended candidates will nonetheless be listed with the occasion names whereas investigations by the Gambling Commission are carried out.

As The Independent has discovered, their campaigns have come to a halt, that means important implications not only for the occasion they represented but in addition for others vying for the now-undecided voters.

Conservative Party assist has been withdrawn for Laura Saunders (Bristol North West), and Craig Williams (Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr).

And Labour’s Kevin Craig (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich) is not standing as a celebration candidate.

If elected, they may sit as unbiased MPs, until the events restore their assist following the watchdog’s inquiries.

(From left to bottom right) Craig Williams and Laura Saunders had the support of the Tory Party withdrawn, and Kevin Craig lost the backing of Labour
(From left to backside proper) Craig Williams and Laura Saunders had the assist of the Tory Party withdrawn, and Kevin Craig misplaced the backing of Labour (PA/Supplied/YouTube)

Bristol North West

In Bristol, the place Labour, Greens and the Lib Dems dominate the political panorama, the leafy suburb of Stoke Bishop pops up like a blue island on the north-western fringe.

When the Conservative occasion suffered a crushing defeat on the native elections in May, the 2 Tory councillors on this fascinating city village held on – and by a long way.

Bristol North West candidate Laura Saunders, who previously worked at Conservative Campaign HQ, has lost the backing of the Conservative party in the wake of a Gambling Commission investigation
Bristol North West candidate Laura Saunders, who beforehand labored at Conservative Campaign HQ, has misplaced the backing of the Conservative occasion within the wake of a Gambling Commission investigation (Laura Saunders/X)

The purple wall can solely go thus far, it appears, however on Tuesday lunchtime final week, the native occasion suffered a blow.

Ms Saunders is being investigated by the Gambling Commission, alongside together with her husband and occasion director of campaigns Tony Lee, over alleged betting on the date of the final election and has been suspended.

Any momentum in the direction of closing in on the 5,700 majority held by Labour’s Darren Jones 5 years in the past has come to a halt, and on Friday, the candidate didn’t present up at a hustings within the village.

“It’s disappointing,” stated John Goulandris, who has been a Conservative Stoke Bishop councillor for 14 years and was making ready to ship occasion leaflets earlier than the announcement final week.

“We always go into an election optimistic and we knew we had a lot of support in Bristol North West,” he stated.

Mr Goulandris described Ms Saunders as a “first-class candidate” who related with native folks on points essential to them, however stated the allegations and investigation have impacted her.

Trevor Scantalebury with his partner Rosemary King outside Stoke Lodge Village Hall in Bristol North West where Ms Saunders is set to appear at a hustings event on Friday
Trevor Scantalebury along with his associate Rosemary King exterior Stoke Lodge Village Hall in Bristol North West the place Ms Saunders is ready to seem at a hustings occasion on Friday (The Independent)

Despite ceasing his marketing campaign within the constituency, he urged folks to nonetheless vote for her, including that if she is cleared and elected, she may nonetheless sit as a Conservative MP with occasion assist restored.

For some voters, the choice has already handed.

Trevor Scantalebury, 82, has already voted for Ms Saunders by way of a postal vote and stated: “It is a sad reflection of the state of politics when something like this happens, whether they are proven guilty or not.”

Stoke Lodge is traditionally a Conservative area with a line of shops including Aimee’s Wine House
Stoke Lodge is historically a Conservative space with a line of retailers together with Aimee’s Wine House (The Independent)

Labour voter Christian Weale believed the Lib Dems may gain advantage from the Conservative withdrawal of assist for its candidate.

“This all makes me really concerned about the lack of accountability in government and how fragile our democratic pillars appear to be now,” he stated. “It’s starting to feel like people in power can do anything – and that can trickle down into society, creating division and mistrust.”

Christian Weale believes the Lib Dems could pick up votes as a result of the Conservative Party pulling its support from candidate Laura Saunders
Christian Weale believes the Lib Dems may decide up votes on account of the Conservative Party pulling its assist from candidate Laura Saunders (The Independent)

Reform UK has a candidate for the constituency however the occasion was not on the lips of locals resembling Jo Matthews, 76, who voted Tory final time however has beforehand additionally voted Labour.

“I wouldn’t vote for her [Ms Saunders] because of what’s happened – it was the right decision [Mr Sunak to remove party support],” she stated.

Also standing in Bristol North West are Caroline Gooch (Lib Dems), Darren Jones (Labour), Scarlett O’Connor (Reform), Mary Page (Green) and Ben Smith (Social Democratic Party).

Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr

“Confusion” is the phrase that comes up amongst folks within the Welsh constituency which Conservative Craig Williams has held since 2019.

Recent polling instructed Mr Williams, who was an in depth aide to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, was projected to carry on to the seat with 28 per cent of the vote, above Labour with 25 per cent.

But he’s being investigated over a wager positioned on a July election, three days earlier than Mr Sunak introduced the date, and he has misplaced his occasion’s assist.

Mr Williams, writing on X, has stated he “committed an error of judgement, not an offence”.

At a hustings at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen college final week, there was an empty seat for Mr Williams, as 5 of the six candidates answered questions from the general public.

The Conservatives withdrew their support for Craig Williams after he placed a bet on the date of the election(UK Parliament/PA)
The Conservatives withdrew their assist for Craig Williams after he positioned a wager on the date of the election(UK Parliament/PA) (PA Media)

Tory councillor Gwynfor Thomas, whose ward is Llansantffraid, stated that regardless of Mr Williams’ suspension from the occasion, there was nonetheless assist within the space, notably given his “good track record”.

But he additionally stated there was confusion over voting for Mr Williams, and what it will imply.

“Just speaking to people, they are confused at the moment,” he stated. “He’s been a great MP who has balanced life in Westminister with this area very well, people recognise that and still wish to support him.

“I’d say he’ll still receive support. We’ll have to see what happens.”

A person in Welshpool known as Paul, who didn’t wish to give his surname, believed Mr Williams would nonetheless win the seat. The 69-year-old, who’s a member of Reform UK, stated it’s unlikely his occasion will take sufficient of Mr Williams’ vote to win.

“I’m just hoping we can beat Labour,” he stated. “But really, there’s alot of confusion locally about it, especially if his name will appear next to the Conservative party on the ballot paper. We don’t know how people will vote, really.”

Also standing in Montgomeryshire and Glyndŵr are Steve Witherden (Labour), Elwyn Vaughan (Plaid Cymru), Glyn Preston (Lib Dem), Oliver Lewis (Reform UK) and Jeremy Brignell-Thorp (Green).

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

After its creation 1997, the constituency was held by the Conservatives till former minister Dan Poulter defected to Labour in April, sending a shock wave throughout a rural panorama dominated by Tory councillors.

But hopes in Labour HQ of holding onto the seat have been dashed when Dr Poulter’s Labour candidate alternative, Kevin Craig, admitted putting a wager on himself to lose the election.

Kevin Craig apologised after placing a bet against himself in the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat
Kevin Craig apologised after putting a wager in opposition to himself within the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat (YouTube)

He apologised for the “stupid error”, however Labour had already withdrawn its assist for the candidate, who would, like Ms Saunders and Mr Williams, sit initially as an unbiased if he wins.

It was a blow for Labour, with the most recent MRP polling suggesting Mr Craig was tied with Conservative candidate Patrick Spencer on 33 per cent.

Ipswich Labour councillor Sarah Adams stated all campaigning by the occasion had moved to close by constituencies.

She stated: “He made a silly mistake. It was a silly thing to do. We can’t have support for a candidate who did such a thing. He is a really lovely chap, a good businessman, but sometimes people take their eye off the ball.

“He had an incredibly tough job in what was a safe Tory seat, but any chance we had has now gone.”

Also standing in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich are Patrick Spencer (Conservative), Dan Pratt (Green), Brett Mickelburgh (Lib Dem), Tony Gould (Reform UK), Charlie Caiger (Independent) and Mike Hallatt (Independent).

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/betting-scandal-tory-bristol-laura-saunders-craig-williams-kevin-craig-b2568586.html