Tycoon Arron Banks 'funded lavish lifestyle for Nigel Farage after Brexit referendum'

Posted On: 
17th May 2019

Business tycoon Arron Banks allegedly spent nearly half a million pounds funding a lavish lifestyle for Nigel Farage in the year following the 2016 referendum result, according to a Channel 4 News investigation.

Arron Banks co-founded the Leave.EU campaign
Credit: 
PA Images

A £4.4m home in Chelsea, a £30,000 car and driver, a private office in Westminster and personal assistant, as well as hundreds of thousands splashed on promoting “Brand Farage” in America are listed as some of the expenditure gifted to the now Brexit Party leader.

The plush three-bedroom property in West London is estimated to have cost £13,000 a month, while Mr Banks also bought furnishings ranging from chairs and crockery to a shower curtain.

Leave.EU and Arron Banks' insurance firm hit with £120,000 fine over data breaches

Arron Banks faces fresh claims he broke electoral rules during Brexit drive and lied to MPs

National Crime Agency launches probe into top Brexiteer Arron Banks over referendum campaign loans

The revelations come after invoices, emails and other documents were seen by Channel 4 News.

Mr Banks, who is under investigation by the National Crime Agency over EU referendum spending, is said to have spent the money after Mr Farage announced he was standing down as Ukip leader in the wake of the EU referendum.

Mr Farage, who continued to pocket a 100,000 euro salary as a sitting MEP,  denies insurance millionaire Mr Banks has donated to the Brexit Party - which is on course to win next week's European elections.

Mr Banks, through his business Southern Rock, is also said to have to forked out £64,064 to an American lobbying firm Goddard Gunster for a “Nigel Farage Brexit Policy Luncheon”, which included an £11,000 interview by Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson.

The investigation also revealed the lobbying firm proposed to capitalise on Mr Farage’s celebrity status by setting up an international political consultancy “with key executive staff that are closely aligned with the new US administration”.

The pitch came the day before Mr Farage - who denies any wrongdoing - was photographed with President Trump in Trump Tower.

According to Channel 4 News, Mr Farage has refused requests for interview on the findings, and answered "no comment"  to the programme's question at a Brexit Party rally in Wales earlier this week. 

In response to Channel 4 News’ report, Mr 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.”

The American strategist from Goddard Gunster, Gerry Gunster, also declined to comment but said the claims were "not credible".