Select committee chair looks bewildered as Brexit boys bail

Written by David Singleton on 12 June 2018 in Diary

Watch: Damian Collins could not persuade Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore to stay put.

When the culture, media and sport select committee grilled Bexit-backing insurance tycoon Arron Banks and his sidekick Andy Wigmore, it was never going to a run-of-the-mill meeting.

Over the course of three hours the self-styled bad boys of Brexit insisted they did not use Cambridge Analytica’s services during Leave.EU’s campaign. But they did admit lying to the media during the EU referendum.

“We certainly weren’t above leading journalists up the country path, making fun of them; same with politicians,” Banks told MPs. “We were running a campaign deliberately aimed at making fun of people.”

One another occasion, Banks failed to show the high levels of respect that committee might have expected from witnesses.

“Are you the MP that got drunk in the House of Commons and harassed a woman and got drunk on a karaoke evening?” he asked at one point. “One of the committee is! I don’t know which one.”

For his final act, Banks walked out on the committee saying he was late for a lunch. With the DUP's Ian Paisley.

“The word is no. When we went out, you said 20 minutes, and I think we’ve run past it,” he said, after chairman Damian Collins asked for another question.

On Twitter, one wit had another explanation for why the pair appeared to be leaving early. Stefan Stern suggested: “Maybe their watches were set to Moscow time?”









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