Insurance mogul and Leave campaigner referred to National Crime Agency

Arron Banks, the former Brightside chief executive and owner of Eldon Insurance, has been referred to the National Crime Agency over the funding of Leave.EU’s 2016 referendum campaign.

Banks is a notorious Brexiteer and funded a lot of Leave.EU’s campaign in the lead up to the country voting to withdraw from the European Union in June 2016.

He has been referred to the National Crime Agency following an investigation by the Electoral Commission, who says “a number of offences may have been committed.”

Better for the Country, which ran the Leave.EU campaign including Arron Banks, Elizabeth Bilney and other associated companies and individuals, were among those referred.

Investigation launched

In a statement, The Electoral Committee said: “The National Crime Agency has now launched a criminal investigation.

“A number of criminal offences may have been committed.”

The investigation focused on £2m reported to have been loaned to Better for the Country by Arron Banks and his group of insurance companies.

It also focused on another £6m reported to have been given to the organisation, on behalf of Leave.EU, by Arron Banks alone.

“Due to multiple suspected offences, some of which fall outside the Commission’s remit, the Commission has referred this matter and handed its evidence to the National Crime Agency,” the Commission said.

Bob Posner, Electoral Commission director of Political Finance and Regulation said: “We have reasonable grounds to suspect money given to Better for the Country came from impermissible sources and that Mr Banks and Ms Bilney, the responsible person for Leave.EU, knowingly concealed the true circumstances under which this money was provided.

“This is significant because at least £2.9m of this money was used to fund referendum spending and donations during the regulated period of the EU referendum.

“Our investigation has unveiled evidence that suggests criminal offences have been committed which fall beyond the remit of the Commission.

“This is why we have handed our evidence to the NCA to allow them to investigate and take any appropriate law enforcement action.”