In news that should surprise no-one, Arron Banks, the alleged “man who bankrolled Brexit”, has been threatening the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr once more. This time he has managed to find a lawyer prepared to issue a legal threat on his behalf, although whether they asked for payment upfront is not known. Banksy’s problem is not that he’s issued the threat, but that he has executed a superbly crafted own goal in doing so.
The legal threat has been issued by Kingsley, Napley, which sounds refreshingly upmarket until you remember that Banksy was using the services of Anthony Julius of Mishcon de Reya last year, until they responded to a Letter Before Action from the folks at Byline Media aimed at Banks and his obnoxious pal Andy Wigmore by stating “Please note however that we are not instructed in relation to either complaint”.
Who sacked whom, one has to wonder? But at least Peter Jukes and his pals know where to send their LBA. So now someone has inserted another shilling in the Banksy legal meter, although it’s not quite as large a shilling as before. Moving right along to Banksy’s LBA, it claims it is “Strictly Private and Confidential” and “Not for publication”.
File under fiction, eh Wiggy?
But as Ms Cadwalladr pointed out earlier, “And yes, it does say ‘Strictly Private' & ‘NOT FOR PUBLICATION’, but Bankski had already handed it over to Guido, m'lud, so he obviously didn't mean it literally”. Banksy had, not for the first time, alerted the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Well, two things here.
One, The Great Guido might want to tell readers “Banks says he took no money and he has no covert relationship. Now he is going to sue her to prove it or pay up”, but Two, the last time Staines tried it on with Zelo Street, he was sent away with his tail between his legs (post HERE). And as to Banksy’s two grounds for action, I have bad news for him.
One, the Commons DCMS Committee publication “Foreign influence in political campaigns” makes this observation at Paragraph 261: “Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore have misled the Committee on the number of meetings that took place with the Russian Embassy”. “Misled” being a nicer way of saying they lied.
Two, as Ms Cadwalladr has pointed out, the DCMS Committee has also concluded “Mr Banks seemed to want to hide the extent of his contacts with Russia, while his spokesman Andy Wigmore’s statements have been unreliable - by his own admission - and cannot be taken at face value. Mr Wigmore is a self-confessed liar and, as a result, little significance can be attached to anything that he says”. OUCH!
Cooeee Banksy! YOU MISSED THIS ONE
And Three, if Banksy is wanting to remove the taint of alleged Russian collusion from himself, then why didn’t he follow up on his threat of legal action against Guy Verhofstadt? The MEP’s Tweet that so riled Banks - “Europe has a fifth column in its ranks: Putin’s cheerleaders who want to destroy Europe & liberal democracy from within: Le Pen, Wilders, Farage, Orbán, Kaczynski, Salvini use Kremlin money & intel. Like Farage’s friend Arron Banks, who colluded w/ Russians to deliver #Brexit” - is still live.
Worse for Banks, it’s been there more than a year. So I wouldn’t be so sure that Banksy is going to sue anyone. He might, however, be about to get an Arkell v Pressdram.
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