Bookies In Quandry : Ming Backers Demand Pay-Out

Political punters who put money on Ming being “The Next Leader” are demanding a pay-out on their bets. He is the acting-leader, but nevertheless he is legally the leader of the LibDems and is to be installed in the leader’s office in parliament and will lead the LibDems on Wednesday at PMQs.

Betfair’s rules state “The market will be settled based on the first official announcement of the next Liberal Democrat Party leader.” Guido called Cowley Street LibDem HQ this morning and asked, “Who is the leader of the Liberal Democrat party?” The press office replied that Menzies Campbell was indeed their leader.

Unless the Bookies claim the LibDems are leaderless, then the punters have a good point. Michael Howard signalled he was stepping down six months in advance, a very different situation, Charlie Kennedy actually stepped down as leader and Ming Campbell took his place. Morally, if the parliamentary authorities accept Ming as LibDem leader how can the bookies not follow suit?

UPDATE: Betfair has suspended the market.

UPDATE: “For the avoidance of doubt, this market will be settled on the first official announcement of the next Liberal Democrat leader as selected in the next Liberal Democrat leadership contest.”
Betfair moves the goalposts! Well this is not only unsporting, but leaves them with a potential problem if Ming is crowned and a leadership contest is forgone. This could result in the market being out of play for years…




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