Leave backer walks out on MPs and admits ‘misleading’ voters

Arron Banks and his aide Andy Wigmore

Leave backer walks out on MPs and admits ‘misleading’ voters

Arron Banks, a British businessman who campaigned for Brexit, told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday that his contacts with Russians had not been an issue before Britain's relations with the Kremlin soured.

'But I think we've been as open as we could be with the issues you've raised'. Asked whether Banks should be subject to a police investigation, the Labour MP said: "Some of the allegations are particularly serious and will no doubt need to be investigated by other authorities as well".

Mr Banks told the committee: "I have got no business interests in Russian Federation and I have done no business deals in Russian Federation".

The Leave.EU founder told MPs that no money from his overseas business interests formed part of his political donations and he was "crystal clear" about the rules.

As they were not MPs, he said he and Mr Banks were not required to officially record who they met but he said he would give MPs details of all their meetings, including with Central Intelligence Agency officers in the U.S. embassy in London.

EMPICS Entertainment Banks (far-left), Farage and Wigmore (far-right) shortly after the European Union referendum in 2016.

Both Banks and Wigmore insisted they had not tried to hide contact with Russians and "briefed the American security services on everything that transpired".

During the earlier hearing, Mr Banks admitted he "led people up the garden path" during the referendum campaign.

Mr Banks confirmed he had also talks about a business venture involving Russian gold mines
PAMr Banks confirmed he had also talks about a business venture involving Russian gold mines

"I asked to meet them", he said.

Brexiteer Arron Banks will face further questions from MPs after he admitted he "led people up the garden path" during the referendum campaign.

On Sunday, it emerged that Mr Banks had had two more meetings with the Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko than he had previously disclosed in his book on the referendum battle, The Bad Boys of Brexit.

Mr Wigmore told Mr Collins: "In light of the fact that you had some hospitality from Putin's number one man in the United Kingdom, do you not think you are a bit conflicted questioning us about this today?" "If you are trying to sell something or put a good case over to somebody, you will tell the best story", he said.

"I can categorically say no, we didn't", Banks said.

CONTROVERSIAL Brexit backer Arron Banks walked out on MPs quizzing him about fake news, saying he had to go to lunch. 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.

Mr Banks confirmed he had also talks about a business venture involving Russian gold mines but he did not pursue it after British experts warned him that working in the country was "fraught with difficulties". So, it is hard for the committee to know if we should take all of their answers seriously when it comes to data sharing and misuse, campaign spending and their meetings with high-ranking Russian officials'.

Before questioning had even begun, Wigmore challenged Damian Collins' right to chair the hearing, following reports on the Guido Fawkes website that the MP had received tickets to Stamford Bridge worth £1,000.




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