Minister lets May 6 date for UK election out of bag
Published 25/01/2010 | 05:00
BOOKMAKERS yesterday suspended betting on the date of the forthcoming British general election after a cabinet minister appeared to let slip that it would take place on May 6.
Defence secretary Bob Ainsworth said voters "will wake up and rue the day if they wind up with a Conservative government in charge of this country after May 6".
A spokesman for Coral Bookmakers said: "It seems that he has given the game away."
But a spokesman for Mr Ainsworth said he had simply been "speculating" about the prospect of a Tory government.
The Defence secretary told Sky News 'Sunday Live': "The election is far, far from decided yet and I think people are beginning to have some doubts about whether or not David Cameron is the right man.
"We haven't lost that election. We need to fight it together, with all our strength and ability, and put that choice to the British public."
A Coral spokesman said: "May had been the odds-on favourite prior to Bob Ainsworth's comments and his mention of May 6 was enough for us to close the book."
But Labour former minister Tom Watson suggested that Mr Ainsworth would not have been privy to the Prime Minister's choice of election date.
He wrote on Twitter: "Bob's a good guy and all but do you honestly think he knows the date of the next election?"
Labour are the 13-2 outsiders with Coral to win the election, with the Conservatives 1-12 favourites.