20 July 2018
In response to tonight’s Channel 4 News programme, Arron Banks said:
“It’s unbelievable that it has taken the Brexit loving Channel 4 News so long to have a pop at me.
“Newsnight have managed two special programmes already.
“An independent report valued the mines in December 2014 at $100m with 2.6 million carats in reserves in the ground. The mines are historically significant assets and have been brought back into production over the last two years.
“The report was commissioned in order to raise finance to develop the mining group some 5 months before the general election where David Cameron promised to give the British public an in/out referendum on the EU.
“The proposed bond was considered in March 2015, 2 months before the general election & 12 months before the date of referendum was even announced by David Cameron.
“In the end, we did not proceed with the bond raise or any form of external fund raise.
“Unless I was Mystic Meg, it would have been impossible to know that I would be involved in the referendum campaign or that it would even take place!
“The notion that Brexit was funded by the Russians is risible and just part of the continuing attacks on anyone involved with Brexit. Mr Collins was humiliated by myself at his select committee hearing and I take his comments with a large pinch of salt.
“The other evidence Channel 4 have provided is from a court filing by a former business partner responding to our claim of damages.
“He is currently under investigation by the South African Hawks for the theft of 4,000 carats from the mine, along with other alleged offences.
“We deny in full the allegations made in his affavidit and would comment that, since the referendum hadn’t even been announced, how would he know any funds were going to Brexit?
“He is being sued for considerable damages and is hardly a reliable witness!
“I have had no business dealings with any Russian investors through any of my businesses. Although in 2014/15 it would not have bothered me either way, the two trips I made were for family holidays.
“Both mines are operating normally under new more successful management.
“Channel 4 is a politically motivated organisation that hates Brexit and has relentlessly pumped out Fake News!”