Arron Banks

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DeSmog UK's database entry, https://www.desmog.co.uk/arron-banks


Eldon Insurance Services

  • Eldon InsuranceWikipedia-W.svg
  • Banks owns Eldon, the umbrella group for various insurance brands that includes the GoSkippy brand and underwrites Debenhams insurance. The Leave.EU campaign was based inside its headquarters in Bristol. Guardian

GoSkippy Insurance


Articles

  • Sept.04.2018: Local Tory party accepts Ukip donor Arron Banks as a member. former Ukip donor Arron Banks has made a further attempt to rejoin the Conservative Party after finding a Tory association keen to help him to become a member. Mr Banks has been provisionally accepted by North West Leicestershire constituency association and has been welcomed by Mark Evans, the constituency chairman, and the local MP, Andrew Bridgen. Pro-EU Conservative MPs have reported large increases in applications to join their local parties after Mr Banks called for the targeting of “Remain fanatics”. His application letter includes a commitment to vote Tory and reveals that he has begun raising money locally by buying a table at the “president’s dinner”, a fundraising event. Conservative headquarters (CCHQ) rejected Mr Banks’s request for membership, made through their central application system, last month. It will now have to find a way of overruling the decision of the local chairman, possibly by getting another member of the association to trigger a complaint and ruling against Mr Banks. The prospect of a further confrontation over Brexit will dismay CCHQ, particularly as Mr Bridgen is preparing to argue that the Tories depend on defectors from other parties and this cannot be used as grounds for exclusion. “Good friends of mine, George Eustice and Craig Mackinlay, were good friends of mine in UKIP. My next door neighbour, Rehman Chishti, was a parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party and Greg Clark, Chris Grayling and Anna Soubry were members of the SDP. Mr Banks said: “As far as I’m aware the money has been accepted so I’m in. I’m delighted to be in the Conservative Party after a four-year absence.” Mr Banks was a member of the Conservatives until 2013, and in the letter claims that he left only to promote Brexit. In August CCHQ told local party bosses to vet applicants. Officially CCHQ refuses to accept that the party is falling victim to an entryist campaign. Sam Coates, The Times.
  • Jun.09.2018: Emails reveal Russian links of millionaire Brexit backer Arron Banks. Arron Banks, the millionaire businessman who helped fund Brexit, had three meetings with the Russian ambassador to Britain — raising explosive questions about attempts by Moscow to influence the referendum result. Emails by Banks and his sidekick Andy Wigmore reveal an extensive web of links between Banks’s Leave.EU campaign and Russian officials. They show they made repeated contact with officials to discuss business opportunities and issues of mutual interest throughout the referendum campaign and its aftermath. Richard Kerbaj, Caroline Wheeler, Tim Shipman, Tom Harper, The Times.
  • Jun.08.2018: Arron Banks refuses to appear before Commons committee. Leave.EU founder and colleague Andy Wigmore claim to be victims of a ‘witch hunt’. The two men had been due to give evidence at the committee’s inquiry into fake news next Tuesday but they announced on Friday afternoon that they would not turn up because the committee was biased against them. “It is perfectly clear that the committee, which comprises only of remain supporting MPs, is conducting a coordinated ‘Witch Hunt’ of Leave groups involving the Electoral Commission & the ICO. You have called not witnesses from the Remain campaign or associated groups,” Banks wrote in a letter released on Twitter.The digital, culture, media and sport select committee said it would consider its response on Tuesday, and could seek a formal summons for Banks and Wigmore if they continue to refuse to appear, the second time it has done so in a week. In his letter Banks accused the committee of colluding with a pro-remain campaign group called the Fair Vote Project (https://www.fairvote.uk/), which has brought a legal action in the US, alleging that Leave.EU data was illegally sent abroad to be processed at the University of Mississippi. The Fair Vote Project said that it had brought the case to obtain an order to preserve data from Banks’s insurance company Eldon Insurance and a second company called Big Data Dolphins, “so that the authorities can investigate whether or not UK citizen data was processed improperly”. Kyle Taylor, the director of the Fair Vote Project, added: “If their claim that Eldon Insurance and Big Data Dolphins are not connected to Leave.EU is correct, why are they now claiming that a court case in Mississippi about these private companies affects their ability to appear before the DCMS select committee in their capacity as key figures in Leave.EU?” Dominic Cummings, Vote Leave’s campaign director, is already subject to a formal summons by June 20 before the same group of MPs after he repeatedly refused to agree to attend on the dates suggested, saying he wanted to wait for formal investigations from the Electoral Commission and the Information Commissioner to conclude. Damian Collins chairman. Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian.
  • Apr.18.2018: Brexit campaigner Arron Banks ‘misused his companies’ customer data’. The misuse of Britons’ personal data by Brexit campaign group Leave.EU and other businesses owned by its founder, Arron Banks, was “rife”, according to Brittany Kaiser, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica. Kaiser, who worked for the British data analytics company for four years until March, told MPs that Mr Banks, who founded the Leave.EU campaign and donated to UKIP, had combined data from those organisations with customers of his Eldon Insurance and GoSkippy Insurance businesses. Leave.EU said the claims were “fake news”. Andy Wigmore, Alexander Nix Henry Zeffman, The Times.
  • Nov.03.2017: Following Arron Banks' money: who delivered the payment in paraphernalia? The Electoral Commission is investigating major Leave donor Arron Banks. Why was there a £1.9m 'in kind' donation, and who did it come from? One of the main things the Commission says it’s looking into is whether “any individual facilitated a transaction with a non-qualifying person”. Better for the Country Ltd was founded in 2015. Arron Banks, Andy Wigmore, Elizabeth Bilney, Alison Marshall were on the board and also trustees of Banks’ charity, the Love Saves the Day Foundation. It's notable that by far the biggest donation for which Banks is being investigated didn’t come in the form of money. Better for the Country Ltd gave £2.4m to 5 different pro-Leave campaign groups - just over £2m came in the form of ‘non-cash’ donations. By far the biggest donation from the firm is £1.9m that it gave in the form of ‘non-cash’ to the anti-EU group Grassroots Out. We don't know who the suppliers were, but Soopa Doopa were used by Grassroots Out, UKIP, Vote Leave, and the DUP. But we couldn't find their office. Soopa Doopa is owned by Jake Scott-Paul, who in June, counted among his 142 Twitter followers Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore. That's all we know right now. openDemocracy, Adam Ramsay
  • Nov.01.2017: What (precisely) is the Electoral Commission investigating Banks for? What struck me as odd is, as I asked Banks's sidekick Andy Wigmore, why use a front company? Why give the money via that company, in the form of materials rather than cash? If the money did really all come from Banks, why did he channel it through a company called Better for the Country Ltd, and mostly through non-cash donations? Why not just write a cheque? Wigmore’s response was baffling. The Electoral Commission is asking if this cash really all came from Arron Banks, or if that’s a cover for some other, secret source. openDemocracy, Adam Ramsay
  • Oct.30.2017: Arron Banks’ charity investigated by Charity Commission. A charity set up by Arron Banks, the biggest financial backer of Brexit, is being investigated by the Charity Commission. Banks is also winding the charity up. The Love Saves the Day Foundation claims to do work in Belize and Lesotho. Public documents suggest the charity might not have raised or spent any money. openDemocracy, Adam Ramsay
  • Oct.30.2017: Arron Banks winds up charity as regulator investigates. A charity run by prominent Brexit donor Arron Banks has been under investigation by the Charity Commission. The charity – called Love Saves the Day Foundation – is also being wound up. Public documents suggest the charity might not have raised or spent any money. The Ferret, Peter Georghegan
  • Oct.19.2017: How did Arron Banks afford Brexit? In September 2013, the man who bought Brexit – Arron Banks – was in trouble. A year later, these financial worries seem to have completely evaporated. One question remains though. If Banks was in such a tight spot in Sept.2013, how did he manage to be so generous the following year? Banks has claimed he lead his own sales team at Norwich Union (now Aviva). However, Aviva say they have no record of Banks ever having worked for Norwich Union. Banks also claimed to have worked for Warren Buffett. Buffet said "I have no memory of ever hearing of the name Arron Fraser Andrew Banks. He certainly never worked for me." Banks and Ekaterina wed in 2001 and in the autumn of that year Banks set up his own insurance company, with financial backing from his relatives and from the Northern Irish insurance tycoons, Leslie Hughes and James Bowers. The new businesses were also the first he formed with two men who would become his long term business partners, the Australian solicitor Jim Gannon and the accountant Paul Chase-Gardener. The amount Banks made from the sale of Brightside is crucial to understanding whether Banks is really as rich as he says he is. Company documents show ... £23.5m. Banks told the Financial Times in 2015 he was worth £100m. In total, his political contributions have come to nearly £10m. (long story...) Our review of Banks' business empire also shows a huge cross-over between the key figures in Leave.EU and Banks’ businesses. Leave.EU’s Chief Executive Officer Liz Bilney serves on the board of numerous Banks’ companies. Leave.EU’s director of communications, close associate of Lord Ashcroft, Andy Wigmore, was appointed to the board of Southern Rock in 2014 and joined Eldon Insurance in Dec.2015, despite having no background within the industry. There is no doubt that Banks did more than most to make Brexit happen – the question is, how could he afford it? openDemocracy, Alastair Sloan, Iain Campbell
  • Sept.28.2017: Ukip and anti-far right both tried to block Brexit donor’s “patriotic” rebrand. Both anti-far right activists and senior Ukip officials attempted to block controversial Brexit donor Arron Banks’ burgeoning political ambitions by trying to register Patriotic Alliance with the Electoral Commission. The Ferret, Peter Geoghegan
  • Apr.02.2017: Arron Banks: ‘Brexit was a war. We won. There’s no turning back now’. Now out of Ukip – the party he bankrolled – Arron Banks is creating a political movement of his own. Though Nigel Farage is the face of Brexit, Arron Banks is the man who made it possible. He bought Brexit, or at least paid for it - more than £7m. Now out of the party and in the throes of creating a new “movement”. In his sights: the seats of more than 100 Remain MPs. He tells me he’s working with Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s former head of strategy. He and his business partner, Andy Wigmore, together with Nigel Farage and Raheem Kassam, the editor of Breitbart London, are the self-styled “bad boys of Brexit”. They’re key partners in a transatlantic alliance, the depth and extent of which is only now, slowly, coming into the light. An alliance that has been cultivated for years by Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist. Out in the open is the fact that Arron Banks is pro-Putin. (Jim Mellon is Banks's great friend.) The Guardian, Carole Cadwalladr

2016

  • Nov.01.2016: Major UKIP Donor Says "KGB Man" Took Him To Russian Embassy. The Russian embassy sent representatives to UKIP's annual conference who then invited leading Eurosceptic figures to meet privately with the Russian ambassador, according to a new book by major UKIP donor Arron Banks. "He was introduced to us as the First Secretary of the embassy – in other words, the KGB's man in London," wrote Eurosceptic businessman Arron Banks. BuzzFeed News, Jim Waterson
  • Oct.16.2016: Offshore secrets of Brexit backer Arron Banks revealed in Panama Papers. Financier who spent £7.5m funding Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU campaign linked to tax haven companies in British Virgin Islands and Gibraltar. The Guardian, Luke Harding
  • Oct.03.2016: Iain Dale’s 100 most influential people on the Right. Co-Chairman, Leave.EU. Banks is an acquired taste for many. A former donor to the Conservatives, he switched his allegiances to UKIP and now funds the UKIP Leave.EU campaign, which continues to campaign to ensure Britain really does leave the EU. Loud, outspoken and brash, his forthcoming ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ diaries are likely to shock and amuse in equal measure. Conservative Home, Iain Dale