MPs call for Brexit to be halted to allow Arron Banks allegations to be investigated
PUBLISHED: 14:25 01 November 2018 | UPDATED: 15:48 01 November 2018
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MPs across the political spectrum have called for Brexit to be postponed following the latest allegations surrounding prominent Leave donor Arron Banks.
The self-anointed “bad boy of Brexit” Arron Banks is being investigated for “suspected criminal offences committed during the EU referendum”.
The Labour MP David Lammy said that it was time for Brexit to be “put on hold” so the National Crime Agency investigation can take place.
He tweeted: “We already know electoral law was broken. Now Aaron Banks is under investigation because Leave.EU stands accused of spending foreign money. Brexit must be put on hold until we know the extent of these crimes against our democracy.”
Helen Hayes said that the government cannot “continue blindly towards” Brexit while such allegations stand.
She said: “Criminal investigation into the use of overseas funds by the Leave campaign. Government cannot and must not continue blindly towards the constitutional and economic precipice of Brexit while such serious allegations of the undermining of our democracy remain.”
Conservative MP Damian Collins, who chairs the House of Commons culture committee, said he was looking forward to questioning the Electoral Commission about their decision.
He tweeted: “We look forward to questioning @ElectoralCommUK at @CommonsCMS hearing on Tuesday next week about their decision to refer Arron Banks to the National Crime Agency. These are serious issues that should be fully investigated by the NCA [National Crime Agency] using their all powers.”
Antoinette Sandbach simply said: “ood to know someone is investigating Arron Banks.”
Other MPs said the allegations added to the case for a People’s Vote.
Lib Dem MP Tom Brake said: “This is the news we’ve been waiting for, We’ve got to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible because if the Brexit referendum was bought, if the law was broken, if foreign money was involved then the people deserve to know & deserve a People’s Vote.”
Catherine West MP said: “A leave campaign that lied, cheated and broke electoral law should not be allowed to cause so much damage to this country. Brexit must be put on hold and we need a People’s Vote.”
Arron Banks, who tweeted a photograph of him holidaying in Bermuda, responded to the calls for Brexit to be halted by saying that it was the “real reason” for the investigation.
He said: “The Electoral Commission haven’t spoken to us or communicated in 4 months nor have they put any allegations for us to answer. Journalists should be asking why they haven’t followed their own due process! It’s no wonder their CEO has been sacked...”
The Commission however said it had been in touch. It responded: “We asked BFTC, Rock Services, Mr Banks and Leave.EU for information, and had exchanges of letters and emails with them to obtain more information, and to clarify responses.”