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UK PM Sunak pledges action on gambling investigation findings

UK PM Sunak pledges action on gambling investigation findings

UK PM Sunak pledges action on gambling investigation findings

UK PM Sunak pledges action on gambling investigation findings

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  • Sunak’s Conservative Party trails the opposition Labour Party by about 20 points in UK polls.
  • The scandal could further impact Sunak’s upcoming July 4 election, which he is expected to lose.
  • Labor leader Keir Starmer criticized Sunak’s handling of events, accusing him of showing weakness.
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On Monday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged to act on any findings of wrongdoing from an internal investigation into a damaging betting scandal that could further impact him in the upcoming July 4 election, which he is expected to lose. His Conservative Party trails the opposition Labour Party by about 20 points in UK polls. Sunak’s campaign has struggled to gain momentum due to several missteps, including his decision to leave D-Day commemorations early.

The campaign has been further damaged by revelations that several party officials and candidates are under investigation for allegedly betting on the election date before it was announced.

Sunak expressed that he was “incredibly angry” to learn of the allegations, which the Gambling Commission is investigating, and told reporters he was not aware of any other candidates under investigation.

“We have been in parallel conducting our internal inquiries, and will of course act on any relevant findings or information,” Sunak told broadcasters after a campaign event in Edinburgh.

Labor leader Keir Starmer criticized Sunak’s handling of events, accusing him of showing weakness.

“Rishi Sunak needs to show some leadership,” he told reporters. “If these were my candidates… they’d be gone.”

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Independence on the backburner:

In Scotland, Labour hopes to capitalize on the struggles of both the Conservatives and the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), which is now on its third leader in just over a year. The SNP has dominated the Westminster parliament’s Scottish seats since 2015, drawing support from pro-independence voters following a 2014 referendum where 55 percent of Scots voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, compared to 45 percent who voted to leave.

However, a police investigation into the SNP’s finances, Nicola Sturgeon’s sudden resignation as leader last year, and the collapse of her successor Humza Yousaf’s administration in the devolved Scottish government this year have cast doubt on that dominance.

Labour has also regained momentum in its former Scottish strongholds, with polls showing it level with or even ahead of the SNP for the first time in a decade. The SNP manifesto states that if it wins a majority of Scottish seats, it will initiate negotiations on independence, although both Sunak and Starmer have ruled out engaging in such talks.

At the launch of the Scottish Conservative manifesto, Sunak focused his speech almost entirely on criticizing the SNP and their efforts to pursue a second independence vote. The Conservatives are striving to retain their six Scottish seats, with the SNP as their main rivals.

“The fourth of July is Scotland’s chance… to put independence on the backburner for a generation,” Sunak said.

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“But that can only happen if the SNP are routed. If they do not just lose some seats, but the SNP lose big.”

He also criticized the SNP and Labour’s approach to the energy sector, stating that only the Conservatives could protect North Sea oil.

In Scotland, the Conservatives are in third place and could potentially face a historic defeat across the UK as a whole. Research conducted by Ipsos Scotland revealed that Sunak has a net negative approval rating of -64 points.

“We see Westminster politicians take campaign trips north of the border to dismiss the very idea that Scotland can have real, genuine influence at Westminster,” SNP leader John Swinney said in extracts of a speech he is due to give on Monday.

“Scotland’s voice is still ignored and our democratic choices are still disrespected.”

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