Arron Banks ‘gave £450,000 to Nigel Farage after EU vote’
Channel 4 News says the controversial tycoon funded Farage's lavish lifestyle
Nigel Farage was extravagantly funded by Arron Banks in the year after the EU referendum, reports Channel 4 News.
The programme unearthed documents suggesting the insurance tycoon provided Farage with a furnished Chelsea home, a car and driver, and money to promote him in America. In total, Banks spent about £450,000, claimed the report.
The Daily Mail says the paperwork “lays bare the extent of Nigel Farage's financial reliance on Arron Banks” while the Huffington Post points out that Farage has “consistently defended Banks”, with the former UKIP leader insisting that “the allegations surrounding [Banks'] business deals, his campaign and his relationship with Russia are ‘unfounded’”.
Channel 4 News said the funding, some provided via Banks’ company Rock Services Ltd, was used to rent a Chelsea home for £13,000 a month. Farage was also provided with a Land Rover Discovery and a driver, and Banks sought to raise an extra £130,000 from supporters to cover security.
It is claimed that the documents also show that Banks organised and funded visits to the United States for Farage in the year after the referendum, including a trip in July 2016 to the Republican national convention.
Banks is already under investigation by the National Crime Agency over allegations of criminal offences by him and his unofficial leave campaign during the Brexit referendum campaign. Farage has said that Banks is not funding the Brexit party. He has always refused to name a donor to the party, claiming he would be “hounded” if his identity was revealed.
At an event in Merthyr Tydfil on Wednesday, Farage repeatedly refused to answer questions about the latest allegations, saying: “No comment.”
In a statement Banks said: “Channel 4 attempts to smear myself and Nigel, come at a time when the Brexit Party is riding high in the polls, so it should come as no surprise to anyone.”