Wigmore: The gun-slinging Brexiteer
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 November 2017
Andy Wigmore's attempt at 'sarcasm' on Vote Leave's use of bots was a characteristic piece of mischief from this sharpshooting Brexiteer, say RACHEL DAVIS and RICHARD PORRITT
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Sharp-shooter, bad boy of Brexit and master of the dark arts of political communication – Andy Wigmore is either a “good laugh” or a “dangerous individual” depending who you speak to.
Although born in Chipping Norton Wigmore could not be further removed from the so-called “set” that have made the made the picturesque Oxfordshire market town famous.
David Cameron, Rebekah Brooks and Matthew Freud would turn their noses up at the sight of Wigmore striding across the wine bar to join them for bubbles – but he would no doubt pull up a seat just to piss them off.
Because, like his Leave.EU buddy Nigel Farage and boss Arron Banks, the thing that really gets Wigmore’s juices flowing is getting up people’s noses. He revels in being an outsider, he is desperate to shock, annoy and irritate.
Of course Wigmore is best known for his involvement with Farage’s self-aggrandising bunch of braggarts the “Brex Pistols” – a name coined for themselves in Banks’ ridiculous Bad Boys of Brexit book.
But he is not just one of the lads – Wigmore is a skilled operator. His latest flip-flop on whether or not Leave.EU used bots to influence the Brexit vote is typical Wigmore – create noise, deny it if it's bad news and claim any good news as your own.
It was his role as director of communications for the Leave.EU campaign that led to the proud moment when he muscled in on a picture with newly-elected President Donald Trump outside his famous gold lift. Conspiracy theorist would have you believe Wigmore, Banks and Farage have the ear of the leader of the free world and used their dark arts to help him land the White House. The truth is more likely to be that POTUS has no clue Wigmore even exists.
The 51-year-old certainly has drive though – so much so that he even competed in the 2014 Commonwealth Games for Belize. He holds dual citizenship of the small central American country and has held diplomatic roles under its flag in London.
But in January this year his role as a diplomatic envoy ended – a price he paid for that lift picture as much as any involvement with Leave.EU. The foreign office raised concerns about whether Wigmore had breached rules which ban diplomats from political activity. The truth is many in government were embarrassed by Farage’s Trump coup – attacking Wigmore was a warning shot.
One “acquaintance” told The New European Wigmore was a clever individual who is always looking for an opportunity to upset the apple cart.
He said: “I’ve seen him at work and I’ve seen him after work. And there is not a great deal of difference.
“He loves being one of the gang but he is happy to let Nigel and Arron take most of the limelight. He sees himself as the guy behind the scenes pulling the strings.
“And, to be fair to him, he is very good at it. That is what makes him a dangerous individual – depending on whether you agree with him or not of course.”
Another source said: “I won’t have a bad word said about Wiggy – good laugh, nice chap and truly believes in Brexit and the opportunities it will bring not just for Britain but beyond. Belize for a start.”
So what next for Wigmore?
“Who knows,” said his pal. “It’ll piss large swathes of the country off though no doubt. And he’ll love every minute of it.” But maybe it is time to quit comms and concentrate on his shooting. He is currently ranked 274 in the world. Out of 274.
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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter