Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Brexit backer Arron Banks to face MPs over Russian Federation claims

Brexit backer Arron Banks to face MPs over Russian Federation claims

But Mr Banks snubbed his pleas and walked off as his aide Andy Wigmore - who was also being interrogated by MPs - revealed they were heading for the House of Commons bar.

He said all contacts with Russian Federation had been disclosed to the U.S. Embassy. You said when you left 20 minutes, and now we've run way past 20 minutes.

The paper said it had seen emails showing he also discussed a potential business deal involving six Russian gold mines with ambassador Alexander Yakovenko after being introduced to him by a suspected Russian spy. He added: "I have no business in Russian Federation, I have done no business deals in Russian Federation".

Speaking to committee chair Damian Collins, Mr Banks said: "I'm sorry, I don't want to be rude but Mr Collins did say it was 20minutes and we've got places to be. Now, before that all occurred, it was no issue", he added.

The last of these was in November 2016, three days after Mr Banks, Leave.EU's communications director Andy Wigmore and the former UKIP leader Nigel Farage met Mr Trump in NY following his election victory.

The committee is quizzing Banks about his possible ties to Russian Federation, after the Sunday Times said his ties to the country went further and deeper than he had previously disclosed.

He said his visas and passport documents showed he was not in Moscow in February 2016, as the newspaper had reported, and his associate Andy Wigmore told the committee the email that the report had been based on was a joke.

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Setting out the campaign's approach, Mr Banks said: "We were not above using alternative methods to punch home our message or lead people up the garden path if we had to".

Since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June 2016, questions have surfaced about Banks and Leave.EU's unofficial campaign.

Earlier, it emerged that Banks had lodged an appeal against the Electoral Commission over its decision to levy a £70,000 fine against Leave.EU for breaching its spending limits.

In vehemently stating that all his business interests were legally structured, Mr Banks let the MPs he was speaking in front of know that he probably paid more tax than them.

He said he did discuss his insurance businesses with Cambridge Analytica, as well as politics, but said there was no conflict in that and reiterated that data from his insurance firms was not used by Leave.EU.

"This whole fake news narrative stated to roll from it". According to Wigmore, she has said: "This young girl said, 'You're British, do you have the telephone number for No 10 Downing Street?"

Banks has become a bete noire for pro-EU campaigners, who presented him with pies on his arrival in Westminster.

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