'It's a WITCH HUNT!' Arron Banks slams Remainers for 'LUDICROUS' Russia 'conspiracy'

'It's a WITCH HUNT!' Arron Banks slams Remainers for 'LUDICROUS' Russia 'conspiracy'

Mr Banks said he first met the Russian ambassador over a "boozy lunch".

It follows allegations over the weekend which claimed the Leave.EU founder held a series of undisclosed meetings with Russian embassy officials around the time of the referendum campaign.

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.

On Sunday, it emerged that Banks had two more meetings with Yakovenko than he had previously admitted in the book he penned on the referendum battle, 'The Bad Boys of Brexit.' The final meeting with the Russian ambassador was in November 2016, three days after Banks, Leave.EU's Communications Director Andy Wigmore, and ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage met Trump in NY after he had been elected president.

Mr Banks is also said to have given Russian officials telephone numbers for members of Donald Trump's presidential transition team, just days after he and Mr Farage visited Trump Tower in the wake of the shock USA election result.

"We had about four shots of Stalin vodka, brandy, wine". We were pretty trollied. "The ambassador was probably in a worse state than we were", he said. Farage: "Were you "reporting back" to the Russian Ambassador?".

The paper also said the men had kept the agent's business card and are going through their emails to find evidence of their correspondence and meeting.

The pair and Mr Farage have had a meeting with a senior official at the USA embassy over claims made against them, Mr Wigmore added.

Mr Banks agreed to give evidence to the committee after previously pulling out as he accused MPs of conducting a "witch hunt".

Mr Banks and Mr Wigmore are set to be questioned over their ties to the Kremlin and the country's influential business leaders today.

His appearance comes after Prime Minister Theresa May said calls for an inquiry into alleged links between Russian Federation and the campaign to leave the European Union are a matter for the police.

Earlier, Labour MP Stephen Kinnock told Sky News he would be sending a letter to the police urging them to launch a criminal investigation into links between Mr Banks and the Russian government.

Mr Banks confirmed he will appear as intended before a select committee on June 12 to answer questions about fake news and Leave.EU's role in the European referendum.

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