Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Sunday 19 July 2020

Arron Banks And The Russia Report

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.
So it is that the Sunday Brexit, still called the Express, has told readersThe 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.
Kingsley, Napley have added “Please provide us with immediate notification of any statements made within the Russia Report which refer to Mr Banks … Given the subject matter of the Russia Report and the matters which are currently live in litigation in the courts, it would obviously be necessary, fair and just for him to have advance notice if any statements were to be made about him and that he was given a proper opportunity to deal with them prior to publication”. Apparently journalists have had a chance to respond.

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’”.
Why is Banksy sounding off now? Three possible scenarios here: One, he is just guessing and trying to use the ISC report for a little self-promotion. But that is risky. Because Two, it could sound like an Oh What A Giveaway moment, a guilty conscience at work. Or Three, he may really be in the report, but could have been improperly tipped off. After all, the report went through the redaction process before last year’s General Election.
There is also a fourth scenario: Banks has no problem using his lawyers to put the frighteners on individuals, like Carole Cadwalladr. It would be rather more challenging, and indeed expensive, to pull that one against the Government. Also, the ISC may have evidence that not only backs up any claim against Banks, but also gives Ms Cadwalladr the means to refer The Great Man to the precedent legal case of Arkell v Pressdram.

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?
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



grim northerner said...

He should just elope to Russia now along with fellow patriots/traitors Katie hopkins and Paul golding.

Steve Woods said...

Thanks chiefly to the antics of Banks, whenever I see someone described as businessman in the media, that automatically equates in my mind with criminal.

Anonymous said...

Can we just get the fucking thing published and the guilty parties banged up for life?

Steve Woods said...

Should Aaron Banks be passing, he might like to know that he appears as a footnote on p.13 of the Russia Report.