Published: Wed, June 13, 2018

Nigel Farage: I Was Invited To Russian Embassy Meeting But Said No

Nigel Farage: I Was Invited To Russian Embassy Meeting But Said No

Mr Banks also made a previously undisclosed visit to Moscow in the run up to the Brexit vote, according to reports.

They were said to have been introduced to Yakovenko by Alexander Udod - one of 23 suspected Russian intelligence officers subsequently ejected from the United Kingdom after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury.

Reports on Sunday said the pair met three times, including lunching days after Mr Banks, Mr Wigmore and Mr Farage visited U.S. president elect Donald Trump in NY in November 2016.

But Banks told the paper: "I had two boozy lunches with the Russian ambassador and another cup of tea with him, bite me".

The emails were passed to the Sunday Times by journalist Isabel Oakeshott, Mr Banks's ghostwriter on The Bad Boys Of Brexit, who is writing a book with Tory peer Lord Ashcroft on Russia's use of "hybrid warfare" to influence British politics.

Mr Collins agreed there is no suggestion Mr Banks had done anything wrong, as he is a private businessman, but added: "Russia is not a friendly country, Russian Federation has a track record of interfering in the politics of other countries, directly and indirectly".

At a press conference at the conclusion of the G7 summit in the canadian resort of La Malbaie in the province of Quebec to the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa may was asked whether she believed that British security services should investigate the revelation in the article that the head of the government said: "I have not seen the publication in The Sunday Times, but I think that any recognition of the need of the investigation and the competent authorities, it will".

The paper said she came forward after she said her email accounts were hacked.

The insurance tycoon, who came to prominence when he donated £1million to Ukip in 2014, said nothing came of the discussion about consolidating Russian gold mines into a single company.


Lawmaker Damian Collins said his committee plans to question Arron Banks, co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign group, later this week.

"We didn't profit from any business deals because I never pursued anything", said Mr Banks, who has interests in South African diamond mining.

Banks, whose wife is Russian, acknowledged that he had made a "family trip" to Moscow in February 2016, but said "no meetings were had with anyone".

"When foreign powers are aggressively targeting the values, systems and institutions upon which our democracy is built, then it's absolutely essential that we have regulatory, security and intelligence-based organisations who are ready, willing and able to intervene", Kinnock said.

An investigation by The Sunday Times newspaper revealed an "extensive web of links" between Arron Banks's LeaveEU campaign and Russian officials.

"Banks and Wigmore were shamelessly used by the Russians", Oakeshott said in the Sunday Times.

He told the paper he had also disclosed details of his contacts with the Russians to United States officials.

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington has called for an investigation.

Banks and Wigmore were invited back to meet Yakovenko after they, and Brexit firebrand Nigel Farage, met with Trump in November 2016 shortly after his election.

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