Those Banks Twitter Direct Message Leaks

For the record, and sorry to disappoint Carole and the rest of the conspiracy theorists, the leak of the direct messages which reveals Guido’s editor arranging to pay £10,000 in cash to Arron Banks (N.B. Carole pay to, not get paid by) was hardly secret. It was paid after losing a bet, made in front of half of SW1’s finest at a Spectator party, that Trump would not become president in 2016. It was a painful night, as he lost the same bet with Nigel Farage.

Banks had arranged to have lunch to collect his winnings and he forgot. Which was irritating. The leaked DMs go as follows:

PS “Where we having lunch?”

AB “Hi there , I’m free most of Feb after the Washington trip .. Hertford Street!”

PS “You forgot to put today in the diary didn’t you? Have a wedge of £50s here…”

AB “What’s today!”

PS “The day you said we would have lunch.”

AB “Sorry then I’ve fucked up.”

PS “If you don’t want the £10k that’s fine with me….”

AB “I’ll check diary and let’s agree a day in Feb . I’m in the office tomorrow . Next week by the way is going to be Huge! Some interesting stuff going on in Washington”

When Banks later claimed publicly that the bet was unpaid it led to a testy exchange…

PS “As you well know I have had your £10,000 sitting in the bloody safe for months. Really resent your implication.”

AB “Believe it or I’m busy . Andy has tried repeatedly to get in touch – he will come and collect the cash .”

PS “He has my number and not called. Send him round. You should point out on Twitter that you fucked up, not me.”

Andy Wigmore eventually picked up the winnings in April 2017 and rubbed it in a little. As the characteristically accurate tweet above, hidden in plain sight, demonstrated. No roubles were involved, Carole…

The situation for other publications currently going through hacked DMs – of which their journalists were neither the sender or the recipient – is more complicated. There is no public interest defence for the hacking. There is no evidence of crimes – apart from the act of hacking. There is a lot of stuff that is embarrassing for politicians and journalists. Am looking at you, Ms Hyde…


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