Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Leave campaigners Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore deny Russian Federation links

Leave campaigners Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore deny Russian Federation links

On Sunday, it emerged that Banks had two more meetings with Yakovenko than he had previously admitted in the book he penned on the referendum battle, 'The Bad Boys of Brexit.' The final meeting with the Russian ambassador was in November 2016, three days after Banks, Leave.EU's Communications Director Andy Wigmore, and ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage met Trump in NY after he had been elected president. The group operated separately from the official Vote Leave campaign.

Arron Banks, who ran the Leave.Eu pro-Brexit referendum campaign, arrives to give evidence to the Digital Culture Media and Sport Parliamentary Committee in London, Britain, June 12, 2018.

Mr Banks, who donated £12m to Nigel Farage's campaign to leave the European Union, has repeatedly denied any involvement with Russia, or that Russian money played any part in the Brexit campaign. "I would like to know what the police are going to investigate - lunch with the Russian ambassador?"

"I'm still waiting for the cheque from President Putin for the alleged money if that is the case but no, of course not", said Millionaire campaigner Mr Banks.

"We had about four shots of Stalin vodka, brandy, wine". We were pretty trollied. "The ambassador was probably in a worse state than we were", he said.

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The reports emails existed showing Banks discussed a potential business deal involving six Russian gold mines with ambassador Alexander Yakovenko after being introduced to him by a suspected Russian spy.

Asked about allegations he was reporting back to the Russians three days after meeting newly elected Donald Trump, he said: "It's complete nonsense".

Wigmore told the committee on Tuesday that he had requested the meeting with the Russian officials.

The allegations prompted Labour MP Stephen Kinnock to announce that he will ask the police to launch a criminal investigation into links between Mr Banks and Russian Federation.

He said he wrote to the Electoral Commission and the Metropolitan Police in early 2017 to express his concerns, but the police said they would only get involved if the Commission asked them to.

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