BBC defends decision to book Arron Banks on Andrew Marr show

PUBLISHED: 11:36 03 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:19 03 November 2018

Arron Banks with Nigel Farage
Photo: PA / Ben Birchall

Arron Banks with Nigel Farage Photo: PA / Ben Birchall

PA Archive/PA Images

The BBC has defended a decision to book controversial Leave.EU campaign donor Arron Banks for the Andrew Marr show - despite the millionaire being under investigation by the National Crime Agency.

Banks is being investigated over claims he had hid the source of illegal overseas donations used to fund the referendum campaign. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The BBC has allowed the businessman and political donor the opportunity to respond to the allegations on its biggest Sunday political programme.

It tweeted: “Sunday Arron Banks will respond to National Crime Agency investigation into campaign funding during Brexit referendum @Arron_banks.”

The decision has been criticised by leading Remain campaigners.

Jo Maugham from the Good Law Project tweeted: “Good of @BBCPolitics to ensure that no one accused by a regulator of serious criminality and undermining our democracy is left without a major broadcast platform. Up next, Harvey Weinstein on how young actresses were desperate to sleep with him for a career leg-up.”

MORE: Brian May: ‘Brexit is the stupidest thing we ever tried to do’

The campaign group Lawyers Against Brexit said the Marr show appearance would be “prejudicial reporting”.

It tweeted: “There is a real risk that prejudicial reporting can disrupt a trial process. An investigation into an alleged crime, which would if proved amount to interference with UK democracy should be treated with the utmost sensitivity by national media. BBC approach is highly problematic.”

Lord Adonis has written to the director general of the BBC urging him to “rescind the invitation”.

He said: “This appears to be me to be a very serious editorial misjudgment, influenced by a culture of accommodation of extreme Brexiters now deeply embedded in the BBC.”

MORE: MPs call for Brexit to be halted to allow Arron Banks allegations to be investigated

The broadcaster responded to the criticisms in a statement.

It said: “There is a strong public interest in an interview with Arron Banks about allegations of funding irregularities in relation to Leave.EU and the 2016 EU referendum. The Electoral Commission has laid out concerns about this in public and it is legitimate and editorially justified for Andrew Marr to question Mr Banks robustly about them.”

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of a series of important votes this year. Here is a list of the events organised across Britain in the coming weeks and months.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy