Lawmakers want to question Brexit backer on Russian Federation meetings

Andy Wigmore and Arron Banks gave evidence to the Commons Digital Culture Media and Sport Committee

Andy Wigmore and Arron Banks gave evidence to the Commons Digital Culture Media and Sport Committee

In a robust and occasionally confrontational display at the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee the pair admitted using spin and exaggeration. "But I think we've been as open as we could be with the issues you've raised". EU, but Mr Banks said the company was not involved with the Leave.

British businessman Arron Banks has courted controversy for years with his outspoken views, generous political donations and passionate support for U.S. President Donald Trump. I have got no business interests in Russian Federation, ' he said.

Questions about Banks's engagement in the gold deal came at the end of a marathon three-hour hearing that saw Nigel Farage's backer eventually walk out, refusing to answer five more minutes of questions because he had another appointment and had been previously told the hearing was close to a conclusion.

The British government said it was examining meetings between the Russian embassy and leading figures in the campaign to leave the European Union, even as one of those under scrutiny laughed off the claims as a full-scale witch hunt.

Mr Banks confirmed Leave.EU had on Tuesday lodged an appeal against an Electoral Commission finding the organisation breached spending rules during the referendum.

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"It's been conflated from two witnesses that frankly, the credibility of them was shot to pieces", he said.

Former FBI director Robert Mueller is now investigating any possible collusion between Trump's 2016 election campaign team and Russian Federation.

On Tuesday, Mr. Banks and Mr. Wigmore rejected allegations of Russian interference and improper use of Facebook data, and criticized Mr. Wylie, who worked at Cambridge Analytica along with another whistle-blower, Brittany Kaiser.

Earlier, Mr Banks told the committee he does not have any business interests in Russian Federation.

"He said he only met the Russian ambassador on one occasion; we now know it was more than that. What were you hoping to get out of it?"

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Mr Banks, who was co-founder of the Leave. Echoing his phrase, Banks agreed: "Many good lunches".

In often spiky exchanges with MPs on the media committee, the businessman accused them all of being Remain supporters and claimed Parliament was the real source of fake news.

They met the ambassador again after they and their ally Nigel Farage met President-Elect Donald Trump in NY, in late 2016. "What's wrong with that? Perhaps you might want to recuse yourself and let one of the other people take over as chair?" According to Wigmore, she has said: "This young girl said, 'You're British, do you have the telephone number for No 10 Downing Street? It's about emotion, and you have got to tap into that emotion".

Banks previously said Cambridge Analytica also worked on the Brexit campaign and that Leave.EU submitted documents about the work to United Kingdom election regulators. Collins told the committee that as a result it would not be possible for the committee to explore related areas. The group operated separately from the official Vote Leave campaign.

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