News, Culture & Society

David Davis ‘tried to bet £1,000 on Brexit vote’

  • David Davis was seen challenging Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk to a bet 
  • A source said the Brexit Secretary was behaving as if he ‘had it in the bag’
  • Mr Chalk opposed leaving the EU but back Government in Wednesday’s vote
  • It is thought Mr Chalk said he had no comment to make on the proposed bet 

The Brexit Secretary tried to bet £1,000 on the Government winning last week’s crunch Commons vote on Brexit, it was revealed last night.

Just minutes before the defeat was announced, David Davis was so confident that he challenged a fellow Tory to a £1,000 wager on the result.

Witnesses say Mr Davis challenged Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk to accept the bet, saying: ‘I can tell you now with absolute certainty we are going to win this easily.’

He threw down the gauntlet as Conservative MPs were anxiously discussing whether Mrs May would defeat the bid by Tory rebels to give Parliament a greater say over the outcome of Brexit talks. In the event, the rebels won by four votes – in a humiliating blow to Mrs May and Mr Davis, 11 Tory dissidents voted with Labour.

A well-placed source said: ‘Alex and Davis were in a discussion involving several Conservatives over how the vote would go as they waited for the division bell.

David Davis was said to be ‘laughing at anyone who said the rebels might win’

‘David scoffed at the idea that the Government might lose.

‘He was behaving as though, as an ex-whip, he knew far more than anyone and the Government had it in the bag.

‘He was laughing at anyone who said the rebels might win.

‘The result wiped the smile off his face.’ It is thought that Mr Chalk, who opposed leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum but supported the Government in Wednesday’s momentous vote, did not accept the offer of a wager.

Mr Chalk told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘I have absolutely no comment to make on this.’

A source close to the Brexit Secretary said the offer of a bet was meant to be ‘light-hearted’.

Ex-SAS reservist Mr Davis prides himself on his gambler’s reputation. As a young MP he won the respect of Tory grandee Alan Clark by being one of the few to accept Clark’s challenge to walk the precipitous battlements of his Saltwood Castle home.