Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Wednesday 7 November 2018

Arron Banks French TV Problem

When alleged “man who bankrolled Brexit” Arron Banks appeared before the inquisition of the host on The Andy Marr Show™ last Sunday, he was unequivocal as to the status of those working at his offices near Bristol in the run-up to the 2016 EU Referendum. Those who worked on the Leave EU campaign were under contract to Leave EU; those who remained in the service of his insurance business were kept separate.
Marr put it directly to Banks: “there’s been a great tranche of emails come out of Eldon Insurance, your insurance company in Bristol which show that people were working there  both for the insurance company and for Leave EU”. What say Banksy? “That was reported to the Electoral Commission and people were - people that did work from Eldon were transferred over on short term contracts, legally and then it was reported through the Electoral Commission in the right way”. But not everyone agrees.

The Commons DCMS Committee’s report certainly does not, and contains this interesting observation: “Brittany Kaiser told us that she visited the Eldon Insurance and Leave EU headquarters, ‘which was in the same building with the same staff. When a senior data scientist and I spent time with their phone bank I was told by the people using the phone bank that the individuals they were calling were from the insurance database’”.
That would be a breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations 2003. And the response? “Arron Banks responded ‘a flat lie’. Yet on 25 January 2016 a French news documentary showed Arron Banks’ insurance call centre employees working at the call centre for Leave EU, with Liz Bilney, on tape, confirming this”.

Now, one enterprising individual has unearthed the relevant footage of the call centre. This tells “Leave EU … employs 60 people at this call centre, seven days a week … but the surprise was that the worker [shown] was neither activist nor volunteer … He works in the premises of an insurance company, GoSkippy, and some do it without even being employees … this is the case of Elisabeth Bilney”. Right on cue, in walks Liz.
At the same time head of the campaign to leave Europe, and one of the managers of the insurance company”. Ms Bilney was asked directly “And these people usually work for GoSkippy?” to which she replied “Yes, they do both [my emphasis], but now they are full time on the campaign we also have to hire new people”. Do go on. “Behind this curious mix of genres, this man, Arron Banks”. So no demarcation, as Banks claimed?

Seemingly not. As Open Democracy told after Banks made his Marr Show claims, “There were no separate contracts for the Leave work. None at all. You were just told to do that at the same time as working on the insurance business”. Another former staffer added “We worked for all the different groups. I worked for Leave and I never had a contract for Leave. It was just what you were told to do”. The French documentary confirms it.
DCMS chairman Damian Collins has, understandably, concluded that Banksy was “not telling the truth once again … Once again it appears that he has not been straight with the answers he gave at the committee”. All of which shows why interviewing him is pointless.

Arron Banks will just lie his way out of it. But you can’t lie your way out of being caught bang to rights, with evidence piling up as it is now. I’ll just leave that one there.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


Anonymous said...

Eldon Insurance is probably a Russian money laundering operation, with the Friends from Vauxhall Cross and the Cowboys from Langley in hot pursuit.

Gosh, isn't this exciting!

A Kelly said...

So that's what Skippy the bush kangaroo did when he grew up, he went into insurance.

Arnold said...

"Arron Banks dropped from BBC Question Time panel"


rob said...

@ Anon

Yes, and Guido in his fake (definitely not a think) tank laying a false trail of fanciful deceit down Whitehall on behalf of his paymasters.

And not to forget Lord Ashcroft waving his Panama Paper Hat aqua as his protoge, the fragrant Isobel Oakeshott, dreamily thinks up the plot for her the sequel to Bad Boys of Brexit to be called Behind Bars with Nigel?

Anonymous said...

There's a script in there, rob. Send it to Langley for approval.

You could call it Berlin Sta--

Oh, hang on......

rob said...

Not sure those in the US would get it.

A more parochial location would be Langleybury. Having played cricket there they certainly know a lot about outswingers and inducker curve balls, googlies and bouncers. Trollope wrote a dystopian novel called The Fixed Period in which cricket teams in the future employed a mechanical steam bowler which could be advance notice of Guido's tank? The novel's title relates to a theory of eugenics being practised in a former British colony. Perhaps we could get mate of Guido's, Toby Young, into the plot too?

There's many that slip between gully and The Third Man!

(as exemplified by my previous comment when not checking for garbled input!)