UK MPs to grill Brexit bankroller over Russia

13 June, 2018, 00:46 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Former UKIP donor Arron Banks who has announced he will not stand in general election

One of the meetings was a November 2016 lunch three days after Banks visited Donald Trump, then president-elect, along with Farage and another prominent Brexit campaigner, Andy Wigmore.

The paper said that Mr Banks and Leave.EU director of comunications Andy Wigmore had also had lunch with the ambassador in November 2016 - just three days after they and the former UKIP leader Nigel Farage had met Donald Trump in NY following his election victory.

But Banks told the paper: "I had two boozy lunches with the Russian ambassador and another cup of tea with him, bite me".

The ambassador was said to have proposed a business deal that would have involved them in the consolidation into one company of six Russian goldmines.

She is now writing a book on Russia's attempts to influence British politics, said Mr Banks and Mr Wigmore were "surprisingly willing tools" of the Kremlin, and that she came forward after her email accounts were "hacked".

The paper said the revelations raised "explosive questions about attempts by Russian Federation to influence the referendum result" but Banks dismissed them as part of a "witch-hunt" against Brexit and Trump.

Ultimately, Leave.EU lost the battle to be designated the official "leave" campaign to rival organisation Vote Leave.

At a press conference at the conclusion of the G7 summit in the canadian resort of La Malbaie in the province of Quebec to the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa may was asked whether she believed that British security services should investigate the revelation in the article that the head of the government said: "I have not seen the publication in The Sunday Times, but I think that any recognition of the need of the investigation and the competent authorities, it will".

Arron Banks will face questions on Tuesday over his meetings with Russia's ambassador to London amid claims of Moscow-meddling in the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

"It's a convenient witch-hunt, both over Brexit and Trump", he added, referring to allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

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Banks has also reportedly admitted that he handed over phone numbers for members of Donald Trump's transition team to Russian officials, after meeting with the USA president-elect in November 2016 in NY.

Banks and his ally, Wigmore, made repeated contact with Russian officials before the referendum to discuss business opportunities.

The founder of Leave.EU, Arron Banks, has confirmed he will appear before MPs this week to answer new allegations about his links with Russian Federation.

He said that nothing had come of their discussions over the goldmine deal.

"We didn't profit from any business deals because I never pursued anything", he said.

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington has called for an investigation.

Meanwhile, Mr Wigmore denied handing over any Brexit-related information.

"I saw the ambassador once, I saw him twice, so what?"

"It wasn't just the Russians: we met all sorts of nationalities, we also briefed the State Department in Washington, we also met with the top embassy officials in London", he said.

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