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Guido has obtained a series of eye-popping allegations made by Channel 4 News that read like a far-fetched Wilbur Smith novel. Channel 4 have taken the word of a man being pursued by Arron Banks for fraud to make some incredible allegations. Arron tells Guido he that he thinks “all this bollocks is making Channel 4 look extremely stupid.”
Arron says “Jon Snow must have found some old psychedelic drugs from the 60’s in his top drawer”, mocking the increasingly far-fetched claims made by Channel 4 News that he is
“An International man of mystery, cutting deals with the Russians to scupper elections, helping Trump get elected, Diamonds, Gold, the CIA, Russian diplomats, fighting off “lunatic bunny boilers”, the link man with Julian Assange for the Hillary Clinton email leak, hypnotising an entire electorate via Facebook and now starting a military coup in an African country to control the diamond market. Wilbur Smith meets Cecil Rhodes on steroids.”
Having read the charges made in the letter Guido can only conclude that either Channel 4 News have the scoop of the year or, they have gone full Cadwalladr. Read the amazing allegations for yourself below:
Looks like Arron’s emails are being shared widely beyond the Observer…
Arron Banks issued a legal letter to Guy Verhofstadt last night ordering the European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator to retract a tweet accusing him of being a “Putin cheerleader”. Banks’s lawyers say the bizarre tweet from arch-Europhile Verhofstadt defames him and that Verhofstadt’s allegations “are false.” Verhofstadt also accused Nigel Farage, who Guido understands is thinking hard about his options in response. Tough claim for Verhofstadt to defend, he’ll surely have to retract…
After running rings around Damian Collins and his dire DCMS committee all morning, Arron Banks then left them completely humiliated by standing up, telling them he had a lunch to go to and walking out. Nothing the impotent Collins could do. Watch to the end to see his face – a picture of total defeat. That’s how you take grandstanding select committee chairmen down a peg or two…
UPDATE: Guido hears their lunch date was with DUP MPs Ian Paisley and Sammy Wilson.
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”
Damian Collins wants to know if Arron Banks took Moscow gold to fund the Leave.EU campaign. Arron wanted to appear in front of the DCMS Select Committee, then he said he wouldn’t go, now he says he’ll see them next week. Collins versus Banks should be fun…
Nigel Farage is in Belfast today attending a DUP fundraiser alongside Arron Banks. Banks didn’t rule out Farage doing an Enoch and defecting to the DUP:
“I would discount nothing, I would include nothing.”
Guido will believe it when they release the Brexit movie…
UPDATE: As expected:
Happy to be on my way to Northern Ireland having worked with the DUP in the referendum.
I was elected as a UKIP MEP. I lead the EFDD group in Europarl and none of that is going to change!
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) 11 May 2018
Arron Banks, 25 October 2015, opposes two referendums: “Suggesting two referendums is a cheap political trick and as a non-political campaign we support one referendum in or out”
Arron Banks, 18 January 2016, opposes two referendums: “The two referendum idea is a stunt by people who don’t think we can win. Nuts”
Arron Banks, 11 January 2018, calls for second referendum: “We always knew the Tories couldn’t be trusted to deliver Brexit. The cabinet is Solidly Remain & this fight will have to be re run”
Anything for a bit of publicity…
The Electoral Commission says it is investigating Arron Banks in relation to donations and loans made during the referendum, specifically looking at Better for the Country Limited, the second largest donor to any of the referendum campaigns, which gave a total of £2,359,842.76 to a variety of leave-backing groups including Grassroots Out and UKIP. Banks is a director of Better for the Country Limited. The Commission described the scope of the probe:
“Whether or not Better for the Country Limited was the true source of donations made to referendum campaigners in its name, or if it was acting as an agent. Whether the recipients of its donations were given the information required by PPERA in respect of the donor. What steps the recipients took to verify the identity and permissibility of Better for the Country Limited as a donor. Whether or not Mr Banks was the true source of loans reported by a referendum campaigner in his name. Whether those individuals and entities involved in that arrangement acted in accordance with PPERA. Whether any individual facilitated a transaction with a non-qualifying person.”
Looking for Roubles?
Banks has responded to the news characteristically, “Gosh I’m terrified”. The real problem for Banks is that he is currently trying to float other interests on the stock exchange. He won’t want a quasi-judicial investigation hanging over him…
With Farage not running, a battle for UKIP’s soul is underway between the more classical liberal / libertarian old guard and populist anti-Islam elements who are accused of trying to infiltrate the party. As ever Guido gives you your runners and riders…
Arron Banks’s favoured candidate in Clacton has quit UKIP after party HQ dropped him amid a storm over Muslim-bashing tweets. When Banks himself bottled standing in the seat back in April, he threw his support behind UKIP councilor Jeff Bray. Bray said on receiving the nomination:
“It didn’t hurt that I got the backing from Arron Banks after he decided not to stand. Arron came down here… he recognised we are doing a good job… He made the decision to back me, which was a huge honour.”
Bray’s selection has been a bit of a disaster after controversial tweets and a dodgy Facebook page were unearthed carrying his name:
Bray claimed he couldn’t remember the posts and suggested they had been manipulated, but today he has quit the party after he was dropped in favour of NEC member Paul Oakley. Bray said:
“I had the support of the local people and the national party have ignored this and chosen one of their own who told the meeting that all he knew about Clacton was that he had spent a holiday here when he was 10. The party has absolutely no chance of holding the seat.”
Arron’s man crashes and burns, UKIP have a mountain to climb in Clacton…
He’s not standing in Clacton after all:
I today met with all of the UKIP councillors in Clacton and senior party figures.
It was a constructive meeting and it was great to see everyone come together.
It’s clear that Douglas Carswell has been a hugely divisive figure and let a lot of people down in Clacton.
The local branch of UKIP was full of genuinely decent people. One of the councillors, Mr Jeff Bray has put his name forward as a candidate for the seaside constituency at the forthcoming General Election.
I have a consequently made the decision to withdraw my candidacy for the seat of Clacton. I will not be standing either as a UKIP candidate or as an independent. Instead, I am putting my full support behind Jeff Bray.
I have no intention of standing in the way of Hard working activists who are the soul of the party.
Therefore, after visiting Clacton I believe it would be wrong of me to stand against Jeff in the forthcoming hustings.
Predictable, hardly anything Arron promises ever comes off…
Full list of things Arron has promised that never happened:
Take note Lobby hacks…
— BBC Essex (@BBCEssex) 19 April 2017
Arron Banks, who will stand against Douglas Carswell in Clacton, has admitted in an interview with BBC Radio Essex that he “knows nothing about Clacton at all.” Strong start for the Patriotic Alliance…
Arron Banks and his sidekick Andy Wigmore have tweeted the above image – remember Banks has previously talked about setting up a new movement called “The Patriotic Alliance” based on the model of Italy’s Five Star Movement, to gather Leave voters across traditional party lines. Banks says: “No nonsense policies that will knock the skin off a rice pudding”. The Patriotic Alliance shares its name with a South African political party founded by a convicted bank robber turned motivational speaker…
Arron Banks says his UKIP membership has been suspended “apparently for saying the current leadership couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding”. Banks had told UKIP bigwigs that their lack of management credentials was akin to running a jumble sale, which went down about as well as his request to be made party chairman.[…] Read the rest