As Theresa May recycles the Brexit bus lie, two leading Brexiteers are accused of treason

Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore
Support us and go ad-free

Prime minister Theresa May has announced that a ‘Brexit dividend’ will help finance the NHS. Channel 4 News‘s ‘Fact Check’ responded by saying there’s no clear link between the NHS funding boost and any ‘Brexit dividend’. However, the Brexit vote wasn’t just influenced by a lie emblazoned on the side of a bus. It may have been prey to collusion by Russia with two leading Brexiteers, now accused of treason.

Treason?

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable appeared to level the treason accusation against Leave.EU financier Arron Banks and communications director Andy Wigmore:

Gold

Cable was referring to an article in the Observer by Carole Cadwalladr. It mentioned the infamous ‘gold deal’, allegedly offered to Banks by the Russians. It’s unclear if Banks accepted the deal, though he later tweeted: “I’m buying gold at the moment & big mining stocks”.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

A meeting between Banks and Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador, was reportedly arranged by Russian ‘diplomat’ Alexander Udod, who was later expelled from the UK after the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal. The goldmines were owned by Russian magnate Siman Povarenkin who, it seems, was introduced to Banks by the Russian ambassador. Povarenkin is chairman of gold and copper mining firm GeoProMining. Russian state-owned bank Sberbank owns 31% of GeoProMining’s shares. Somerset Capital Management, the firm co-founded by arch-Brexiteer and Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, invests millions of pounds in EU-sanctioned Sberbank.

Banks told the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sports select committee that the gold-mining deal was merely “a proposal” and “doesn’t mean there’s any wrongdoing”. He also claimed that businessman Peter Hambro and former army chief Field Marshal Lord Guthrie advised him to “be circumspect” about the offer. Banks added “I have no business in Russia, I have done no business deals in Russia”. Hambro, known as “Goldfinger”, co-founded gold mining company Peter Hambro Mining, later renamed Petropavlovsk Plc.

Collusion?

In another article in the Observer, Cadwalladr and Peter Jukes referred to “multiple meetings” Banks had with Russian officials prior to the 2016 EU referendum.

But the Russians deny any collusion, telling the Observer:

The Russian Embassy has not in any way intervened in domestic UK political process, including the Brexit referendum. Meeting stakeholders representing all political spectrum of the host country is a natural element of the work of any embassy.

Quitting?

Arron Banks now says he’s exhausted by all the recent investigations into his role with Leave.EU and that he may quit politics for good. He admitted: “From our point of view, the referendum stuff is slowly grinding towards a conclusion in the most painful horrible way”.

Wigmore also announced he intends to leave the UK for Belize, a country for which both he and Banks have acted as diplomats.

This raises questions about Wigmore and Banks in relation to Article 31 (1c) of the Vienna Convention [pdf, p9]:

 

If that clause disqualifies Banks and Wigmore, then there’s another reason for the EU referendum to be voided.

Meanwhile, Theresa May faces a major challenge by Tory rebels to her Brexit strategy. If successful, it could pave the way for a complete reassessment of Brexit.

Get Involved!

– See more Canary articles on Arron Banks.

Featured image via screengrab

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed