After all the advance publicity, the attempt by 10 Downing Street to rig the chairmanship of the Intelligence and Security Committee, the withdrawal of the whip from Julian Lewis for the heinous sin of being independently minded, and the thought that it could be released before Parliament goes into its summer recess, a potential problem has arisen with the Russia Report. Arron Banks is worried that he may be in it.has told readers “The Sunday Express has learnt that businessman Arron Banks, the founder of Leave.EU, has issued a dramatic legal challenge to the publication of the report by the Intelligence and Security Committee. His lawyers have demanded that if attempts are made to rake over previous unfounded allegations against Mr Banks then publication should be delayed to give him a chance to respond”. What might he be talking about? Ah well. There is more.
“Mr Banks's lawyer Kingsley Napley [so they are once again instructed by Banksy] points out that there is an ongoing defamation case over the previous publication of many [allegedly false] accusations. The letter said: ‘Mr Banks has not received any invitation to give evidence and/or to respond to any allegations which may be advanced against him in the Russia Report’”. That may mean Banksy isn’t in it, of course.
And right on cue we also read “Writing for the Sunday Express today, Mr Banks specifically linked the Electoral Commission's inquiries into [allegedly] false accusations to the ISC report”. How, though, can Banks know what is in the ISC report? In any case, the Express concedes this point - “An ISC source said: ‘The ISC will not comment on any such matters. The report will be published before the House rises on Wednesday’”.
Whatever the case, it now appears that Banks will be unable to stop publication of the ISC report. So he’d better have his fingers crossed. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke, eh?