— Andy Wigmore (@andywigmore) April 27, 2017
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…
On today’s judgment in the case of Leave.EU v Electoral Commission in the Central London County Court, Andy Wigmore says:
“What started out as a witch-hunt by the political establishment in what they thought was the largest political scandal investigating Cambridge Analytica and Goddard Gunster’s alleged involvement in the Leave.EU referendum campaign, has today been proven to be false. Instead, the Electoral Commission fined us on technicalities and an overspend of £50,000, not the £70,000 originally presented by them on £7 million overall spend. The fines were reduced and the Judge accepted the technical breaches were ‘mistakes’ rather than calculated wrong-doings and crucially held there were ‘no findings that Leave.EU had been dishonest.'”
No news from the police investigation yet…
Carole Cadwalladr has uncovered one of her most sensational conspiracies yet – this time Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore have apparently used a ski trip to the Italian Alps as cover for a secret plot to convince the Italian ‘fascist’ government to block an extension of Article 50. Pulitzer-level stuff…
Carole uses all of her award-winning investigative skills to piece together a number of crucial clues which reveal the inescapable truth. Incredibly, Wigmore turned his Twitter GPS-locator off for 24 hours after he got to Venice last week. A sure sign of guilty behaviour.
Even more shockingly, Banks and Wigmore decided to go skiing in Cortina, when Wigmore already owns a chalet in Wengen. The evidence is incontrovertible.
Meanwhile, Agent Farage has been busy implementing the other half of the top-secret plan – which is now “in plain sight” – by making speeches in the European Parliament calling for EU leaders to block any extension to Article 50. Thankfully serious political heavyweights like the SNP’s Justice Spokeswoman Joanna Cherry QC have ridden to the rescue to help foil the egregious plot. Phew!
By coincidence it was Banks’ insurance firm’s corporate ski jolly last week. Salvini must have been delighted to be invited along…
Arron Banks’ sidekick Andy Wigmore appears to have finally succeeded in his bid to join the Tories after the pair’s attempts were repeatedly rebuffed by CCHQ. By hook or by crook, the self-proclaimed Brexit ‘Bad Boy’ is undeniably now a card-carrying member of the Tories:
Looks like CCHQ’s net can’t hold the Blue Wave…
UPDATE: Party Chairman Brandon Lewis has told LBC’s Iain Dale that the party Board “decided that neither Andy Wigmore nor Arron Banks would be members of the party.” He explained that they were refused for “very publicly and openly” trying to “bring down the leadership of the Conservative Party.” When Guido breaks the news to him Wigmore retorts to Guido “So is Boris!”
Arron Banks is enjoying himself a lot more than the MPs on the DCMS committee this morning. At one point he asked them: “Are you all Remainers? Yep? Hands up?”. And then he burned Paul Farrelly:
“What is this? Are you the MP who got drunk in the House of Commons and harassed a woman at a karaoke evening?”
Those watching are not impressed with the performance of the committee:
I’ve been watching the DDCMS Select Committee with Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore. 5 MPs haven’t even shown up and those that have are utterly incompetent in their questioning. A terrible advert for select committees so far.
— Iain Dale (@IainDale) June 12, 2018
Banks and Wigmore running rings around the DCMS committee so far.
— Matt Foster (@mattlpfoster) June 12, 2018
the Labour MP asking Banks and Wigmore about £250 and then realising that “I meant £250m”, was a particular lowlight
— Jim Pickard (@PickardJE) June 12, 2018
Don’t think this is playing out quite how Damian Collins wanted…
Andy Wigmore mentions Guido’s story on Damian Collins accepting hospitality from Putin-linked Roman Abramovich at Chelsea FC. He asked the DCMS Committee Chair:
“Perhaps you might want to recuse yourself?”
“All I can say is… I didn’t meet the owner, I wasn’t offered Stalin’s vodka, I’m not as good at pushing their buttons as you are… I declared in the Register of Members’ Interests, there were no inducements, offers… Chelsea won 2-1”