Connect with us

Gambling

Swinney criticises Jack’s election bets as ‘totally and utterly unethical’

Published

on

Swinney criticises Jack’s election bets as ‘totally and utterly unethical’

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack should be barred from going to the House of Lords for “totally and utterly unethical” behaviour betting on the timing of the General Election, Scotland’s First Minister has said.

John Swinney accused Mr Jack of having used information he “gleaned around the cabinet table” when gambling on the date of the poll.

Mr Jack has already said he had no knowledge of when the election would take place until Rishi Sunak fired the starting gun on the campaign on May 22.

The Scottish Secretary, who is not standing for re-election, has also said he did not break Gambling Commission rules with bets he placed.

Alister Jack looks at the camera as he walks down the street
Alister Jack said he placed bets on the timing of the election, but did not break Gambling Commission rules (Jane Barlow/PA)

However, with there having been speculation that the Tory minister will be given a place in the House of Lords after the election, Mr Swinney made clear that should not happen.

The SNP leader said Mr Jack was “unfit to be a minister full stop”, claiming he had been “terrible as a minister” in his time in office.

Mr Swinney, who was campaigning in Edinburgh on Thursday, told the PA news agency: “Crucially also, Alister Jack has got a seat lined up for himself in the House of Lords. There’s no way he should be going to the House of Lords, absolutely no way.

“Because he has taken information he has gleaned from around the cabinet table and then gone off to the bookies.

“It is just so totally and utterly unethical, an individual that can do that is unfit to be a lawmaker in the United Kingdom.”

Mr Swinney insisted the Scottish Secretary “should not go anywhere near the House of Lords”, adding there was “no case for him to go there”.

First Minister John Swinney and Edinburgh East and Musselburgh candidate Tommy Sheppard enjoy eating ice-cream cones while campaigning in Portobello
First Minister John Swinney (left) spoke out while campaigning in Portobello with Edinburgh East and Musselburgh candidate Tommy Sheppard (right) (Michael Boyd/PA)

The First Minister said: “He has taken information he has gleaned around the cabinet table and then gone to the bookies. That is unethical and people like that shouldn’t be in the House of Lords.”

His comments came after Mr Jack confirmed earlier this week that he had placed a £20 bet in April at odds of 5/1 on an election being held between July and September – with the Scottish Secretary stressing he had no knowledge of when the election would be at the time he made the wager.

He also said that in March he had placed two unsuccessful bets of £5 on the vote being held in May and June respectively.

Mr Jack, who is not seeking re-election, was clear he “did not place any bets on the date of the general election during May – the period under investigation by the Gambling Commission”.

He has told the BBC: “I am very clear that I have never, on any occasion, broken any Gambling Commission rules.

“Furthermore, I am not aware of any family or friends placing bets. I have nothing more to say on this matter.”

Continue Reading