November 1, 2017 / 12:42 PM / 2 years ago

Brexit tycoon Banks says Russia did not fund campaign to leave the EU

FILE PHOTO: Arron Banks stands alongside Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), as he makes a statement after Britain voted to leave on the European Union in London, Britain, June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Arron Banks, a tycoon who backed leaving the European Union, on Wednesday dismissed allegations that Russia had funded Brexit.

Britain’s electoral commission earlier said it had opened an investigation into whether Banks breached campaign finance rules in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

“Allegations of Brexit being funded by the Russians... are complete bollocks (rubbish) from beginning to end,” Banks said in an emailed statement.

Commenting on the electoral commission investigation, Banks said: “This is the Remain establishment once again trying to discredit the result and it’s all starting to get rather boring!”

Banks ended the statement with the word “Nostrovia”, a mispronunciation of the Russian phrase “na zdorovie” which is sometimes used as a toast to good health when drinking.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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