Arron Banks walks out of MP meeting because he's late for lunch

Blanche Robertson
June 13, 2018

"There was a myriad of things we wanted to talk to them about... it wasn't anything to do with politics", he assured the committee.

Banks and Wigmore also told MPs that they had passed a phone number for the Trump transition team to Yakovenko at another lunch they had with him in November 2016, a few days after their infamous visit to Trump Tower where they had met the then president-elect after waiting in the building for six hours.

According to details of emails reported by the Sunday Times and the Observer, Mr Banks and Mr Wigmore also discussed potential business opportunities in Russian Federation including a proposal involving six gold mines. I would like to know what the police are going to investigate - lunch with the Russian ambassador?

The two witnesses said that when Wigmore emailed a journalist at the time to suggest Banks was in Russian Federation and unavailable, he was being mischievous and lying.

The chairman of the British Parliament's media committee said on Sunday that a millionaire backer of the successful campaign to leave the European Union has questions to answer about his contacts with Russian officials.

Wigmore told the committee he first met with the Russians in his role as a diplomat for the South American country of Belize.

Mr Banks told MPs that no money from his overseas business interests formed part of his political donations and he was "crystal clear" about the rules. I pay my taxes in south Gloucestershire.

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Asked if he believed there was any attempt by Russian Federation to influence the outcome of the 2016 vote, Mr Banks said it was "possible" but he believed it was confined to a few hackers and computer bots at a "low level". He added: "I have no business in Russian Federation, I have done no business deals in Russian Federation". I structure everything legally. "What were you hoping to get out of it?" "I would support that in many ways".

Before questioning had even begun, Wigmore challenged Damian Collins' right to chair the hearing, following reports on the Guido Fawkes website that the MP had received tickets to Stamford Bridge worth £1,000.

Mr Wigmore asked: "In light of the fact that, according to Guido, you had some hospitality from Putin's number one man in the United Kingdom, do you not think you are a bit conflicted questioning us about this today?"

"You can join us if you want".

The co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign group - and friend of Nigel Farage - admitted to MPs he "led people up the garden path" during the referendum campaign and used "alternative methods" to influence the Brexit vote. You may have better intel than me. Wigmore said that "in the light of hospitality from Putin's No 1 man in London, you might recuse yourself".

"We had about four shots of Stalin vodka, brandy, wine".

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