Arron Banks to face MPs in parliamentary showdown over Russian Federation links

Brexit News Arron Banks Nigel Farage

Brexit News Arron Banks Nigel Farage

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.

He added: "You may have better intel than me".

Today, he said there were numerous errors in the Guardian's "fake news" reporting of his activities, that is regularly tweeted by Mr. Collins.

Arron Banks, one of the self-described "bad boys of Brexit", said he has no business interests in Russian Federation and there was no evidence of a conspiracy connected to Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

Brexit bankroller Arron Banks walked out midway through a grilling from MPs, telling them that he was running late for lunch.

"Mr. Banks and Mr. Wigmore themselves put on the record that they frequently lie, exaggerate, misspeak and misunderstand", Collins said.

Banks and Wigmore confirmed that Leave.EU had lodged an appeal against an Electoral Commission finding the organisation breached spending rules during the referendum.

Mr Wigmore told MPs he first met Russians at a Ukip conference and in his role as diplomat for Belize he was seeking investors to help the small South American country sell its bananas.

Earlier, Mr Banks told the committee he does not have any business interests in Russian Federation.

"I'd like to think I'm an evil genius with a white cat that kind of controls the whole of western democracy, but clearly that's nonsense" he said, before suggesting the media committee had its own motivations.

Banks is set to appear in front of the House of Commons'digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee on Tuesday to explain the reports, as part of DCMS' ongoing investigation into "fake news" in Britain.

According to details of emails reported by the Sunday Times and The Observer, Banks and Wigmore also discussed potential business opportunities in Russian Federation.

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.

"Referendums are not about facts, it's about emotion", Wigmore said. You said when you left 20 minutes, and now we've run way past 20 minutes.

Mr Banks said there was "no definitive evidence" of a conspiracy with Russian officials, but admitted to giving them the telephone number for US President Donald Trump's transition team before his inauguration. He added that nothing substantive was discussed during the meetings and that the second lunch came after the two men had met Mr. Trump in NY in the wake of his election victory in November, 2016.

"I'm frankly sick and exhausted of this", Banks said, a millionaire insurance entrepreneur.

Mr Paisley later joked about the Russian reports, tweeting a picture of himself with the pair and his East Antrim colleague and saying; "Great to catch up on a busy day with Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore to discuss Brexit and beyond over an entertaining lunch".

He and Mr Wigmore began the session by challenging Mr Collins's right to chair it, because the Tory had declared receiving two tickets worth £1,060 for a football match at Chelsea, owned by Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich.

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