Arron Banks is a businessman famous for being one of the main funders of the UK’s Brexit campaign. He was an influential figure and donor for the Leave.EU group, headed by Nigel Farage, that campaigned for the UK to leave the European Union.
Banks has donated millions to both the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and the Conservative party, and sits within a transatlantic network of influential individuals spreading climate disinformation in the UK and US.
Stance on Climate Change
19 March 2017
In a tweet, Banks wrote:
“Global climate change represents the biggest transfer of wealth from poor to rich ever via inflated energy costs”.
Regarding flooding in the UK Banks said:
“The politicians swanking around the disaster zones in hard hats and hi-viz jackets are pointing the finger at climate change – a convenient bogeyman in this situation, but in truth this is an unnatural disaster which was made to order in Brussels.”
On the Brexit campaign:
“It was taking an American-style media approach. What they said early on was ‘facts don’t work’ and that’s it. The remain campaign featured fact, fact, fact, fact. It just doesn’t work. You have got to connect with people emotionally. It’s the Trump success.”
Leaked emails show Banks met with the Russian ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko three times in the run up to the EU referendum. Documents obtained by The Sunday Times also revealed Banks held multiple meetings with Russian officials and flew out to Moscow in February 2016 to meet key financiers and partners behind a gold mine project. MPs called for the police and parliament to launch an investigation. Banks had previously said that his contacts with Russian officials consisted of “one boozy lunch” at the Russian embassy.
After appearing in-front of a parliamentary committee to defend against allegations of collusion with Russia, Banks and former Leave.EU spokesperson Andy Wigmore were photographed with members of the Democractic Unionist Party, including infamous climate science denier Sammy Wilson.
Banks launched the Breitbart-inspired far-right website Westmonster, which is sponsored by Banks’ insurance company Go Skippy.
Banks is pictured alongside Nigel Farage and then president-elect Donald Trump in an infamous photo taken at Trump Towers.
Following the successful vote for the UK to leave the EU in June 2016, Banks announced support for Andrea Leadsom in the Conservative party leadership race to replace David Cameron. Leadsom was a Vote Leave campaign committee member and has ties to a network of groups spreading climate disinformation based out of 55 Tufton Street.
Banks attended an event at Cato Institute thinktank in the US, which is known for spreading climate disinformation, reportedly saying there would be economic pain in the event of the UK leaving the EU, but that it was a price worth paying for independence.
He also met with representatives of the Atlantic Council, American Foreign Policy Council and the Heritage Foundation, along with the US Treasury Department and the Department of State on the same trip.
Photo: Screengrab via Leave.EU/Twitter