Remember Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and that house in Chelsea? Back in 2017, after the Mail on Sunday had splashed Nige and his pal Laura Ferrari (a worthy successor to Miss Rita Chevrolet) over its front page, I observed “what the MoS is not asking is who is paying for that house rental in Chelsea. After all, it’s hardly convenient for the European Parliament. It will cost thousands each month. Where’s the money coming from?” Well, stay tuned.
Guess who's still pals?
The whiff of dishonesty is never far away where Farage is concerned. He has been lying his way round the TV studios, claiming that Theresa May “didn’t ask for a free trade agreement”, when the EU Withdrawal Agreement comes before a trade deal, and calling that Agreement a “new EU treaty” which it isn’t. Then, after all the broadcast exposure, he complained that he wasn’t getting any publicity. Seriously.
He claimed that all the Brexit Party’s donations were coming from people chipping in £25 a time, only for it to be revealed that there are several big donors behind the project. But until now, one claim had held firm, and that was that “his new Brexit party … would not take any money from Arron Banks”. True, that turned out not to be a flat-out lie, but it was a serious slice of deception. Because he’s been taking money from Banks.
That’s despite telling anyone who would listen “We haven’t asked Arron Banks for any money; he’s not going to give any money. He’s been very badly burned by what happened since the referendum, outrageous though it was”. What happened since the referendum was that Banks bankrolled Farage. Or rather, Farage was bankrolled by money which arrived with him after being sent there by Arron Banks.
As Channel 4 News has told, Farage “was lavishly funded by Arron Banks in the year after the Brexit referendum … with the insurance tycoon providing him with a furnished Chelsea home, a car and driver, and money to promote him in America … [Banks] spent about £450,000 in the year after the referendum, when Farage had quit as Ukip leader”.
There was more: “the money, some provided via Rock Services Ltd, a company owned by Banks, was used to rent a Chelsea home for £13,000 a month, with Banks purchasing furniture and fittings including crockery and a shower curtain … Farage was also provided with a Land Rover Discovery and a driver, and Banks sought to raise an extra £130,000 from supporters to cover security”. That’s where the money was coming from.
But, while the press was looking, it was not looking hard enough. There was mild embarrassment for Farage that he had been caught with Ms Ferrari in their exclusive Chelsea retreat, especially after he’d moaned about being skint and claiming there was no money in politics. But no questions were asked as to where the money came from. And that same press still isn’t looking hard enough, or won’t do until after the EU poll.
This matters. Because, while Channel 4 News has exposed Farage, it is clear that most of our free and fearless press will not. Nothing like having the MoS deflect from the real issue and in doing so providing a little damage limitation. Selective journalism at its best.
Press establishment protects bigots. No big deal, film at 11.
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Thank God for Channel 4 because the BBC just seem to be offering the kind of fawning no-questions-asked PR to Farage and Boris Johnson one would normally expect on Graham Norton's sofa
"We haven't asked...He's Not going to be giving...".
A first year law student could drive a coach and horses through that one. Exact words, folks. Massive loophole.
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