Former Conservative minister Paul Scully warns Tories are 'shooting themselves in the foot' - as poll gives damning verdict on election betting scandal

The Tories have to stop shooting themselves in the foot, a former minister has said as a poll showed the election betting scandal had cut through with the public.

Ex-minister for London Paul Scully said the Tories faced a 'punishment election' but gaffes during the campaign were 'making it easy for [voters] to punish us even further.'

A YouGov poll found the story about several senior Conservatives and a police officer betting on the date of the election had been noticed by voters.

It was the story people were most likely to have heard about over the past few days, with just two weeks to go until the election, the poll showed. Rishi Sunak is under significant pressure after it emerged that the Gambling Commission is investigating several Tories, while a policeman has been arrested.

Ex-minister for London Paul Scully (pictured) said the Tories faced a 'punishment election'

Ex-minister for London Paul Scully (pictured) said the Tories faced a 'punishment election'

Tory candidate for Bristol North West Laura Saunders with her partner Conservative Party's director of campaigns, Tony Lee. They are both accused of placing bets

Tory candidate for Bristol North West Laura Saunders with her partner Conservative Party's director of campaigns, Tony Lee. They are both accused of placing bets

One of Mr Sunak's close protection officers was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office. (Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attends the launch of the Welsh Conservatives General Election manifesto)

One of Mr Sunak's close protection officers was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office. (Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attends the launch of the Welsh Conservatives General Election manifesto)

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Now another TWO Tories caught up in poll day bet storm

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The Prime Minister's parliamentary aide Craig Williams, his campaign director Tony Lee and the director's wife, Laura Saunders, who is standing to be a Tory MP, are accused of allegedly placing bets.

One of Mr Sunak's close protection officers was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office and suspended from his duties after allegedly placing a bet. There have been suggestions that others could be involved in the betting scandal.

Mr Sunak yesterday refused to deny that any members of his Cabinet had put money on the date. He repeated that anyone found to have broken the rules should be 'booted out' of the Conservative Party.

Asked about the scandal yesterday, Mr Scully told GB News: 'It feels like we're shooting ourselves in the foot and we're not millipedes. We've only got two feet.'

He added it was 'effectively a punishment election' and voters were 'looking under the microscope at what we do and we're making it easy for them to punish us even further'.

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