Arron Banks under pressure to explain Brexit funds

Arron Banks under pressure to explain Brexit funds

Arron Banks under pressure to explain Brexit funds

Arron Banks insisted his £8 million worth of support for the Leave.EU campaign he founded did not come from Russian Federation and was completely legal, after a probe into the funds was opened by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on the recommendation of the United Kingdom elections watchdog. And the man who funded posters claiming the United Kingdom was at "breaking point" over immigration even claimed that the channel's news programme was a "leading proponent" of angst in the country. The question is where did the money come from?

But Mr Banks told Marr that it came from a UK-based insurance business, saying: "There was no Russian money and no interference of any type".

Hundreds of internal emails leaked by former employees of Eldon Insurance and Rock Services to the paper show that despite categorical denials by Banks to MPs, insurance staff worked on the Leave.EU campaign from their company offices, although "any work carried out in the months before the referendum should have been declared under electoral law".

Responding to the Sky interviewer's claim that the Electoral Commission is "an independent, democratic body" - in fact it is wholly appointed - Banks responded: "You say it's an independent Commission..."

Bob Posner, the commission's director of political finance, said: "We have reasonable grounds to suspect money given to Better for the Country came from impermissible sources and that Mr Banks and Ms Bilney, the responsible person for Leave.EU, knowingly concealed the true circumstances under which this money was provided".

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He told Sky News: The £8m came from a United Kingdom company, the cash was generated in the UK.

"It is a discrepancy because what he told us was that Rock Services really just provides services to other companies that he owns - provides cash, makes payments". It's not selling products and services and generating cash.

Mr Banks denied Rock Services was a "shell company" that did not have sufficient funds to be the source of the money for Better for the Country (BFTC), which ran Leave.EU. That is still not clear.

The 2016 Brexit referendum saw 51.9% of voters back leaving the European Union.

Questions over the validity of the referendum result could be raised only if misconduct was "proven to be true as a effect of the investigation", he said.

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When asked about the origin of the funds, Banks said: "I certainly won't be showing you".

Richard Tice of Leave Means Leave told BBC Newsnight that "Remoaners" were using the investigation as an excuse to try and overturn Brexit.

"The money came from Rock Services which was a United Kingdom limited company, it was generated out of insurance business written in the United Kingdom".

Banks and Leave.EU chief executive Liz Bilney deny any wrongdoing.

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