Damian Collins says Leave.EU letter proves Arron Banks is ‘rattled’ by committee crackdown on fake news

Damian Collins says Leave.EU letter proves Arron Banks is ‘rattled’ by committee crackdown on fake news

Leave.EU's Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore at the fake news inquiry in June this year. Image: Parliament TV

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Conservative MP Damian Collins has said Leave.EU’s letter to his constituents proves that his committee has Arron Banks “rattled”.

Mr Banks’ letter called the MP for Folkestone and Hythe a “disgrace” and said that he "never respected" the EU referendum result, accused him of a "witch-hunt against Brexit", and encouraged recipients to join the Conservaties and "apply pressure" over Mr Collins "from within".

Mr Collins said: “The letter which Arron Banks has sent to my constituents clearly demonstrates that the work of my select committee has got him rattled.

“Having voted with the Government on every measure put before Parliament to implement the result of the referendum, it is clear that this letter has got nothing to do with my stance on Brexit.

“Arron Banks does not like to be held to account, particularly on the issue of his contacts with Russia.

“Parliament, and my committee, are there to hold the wealthy and powerful to account and he is not going to stop me doing my job.”

Leave.EU's Mr Banks and Andy Wigmore were questioned by the committee in June this year over the relationship between Leave.EU and Cambridge Analytica.  


'This arrogant attempt'

Mr Collins said he had received "overwhelming support" since the letter was sent. 

“I am in no doubt as well that the people of Folkestone and Hythe will see through this arrogant attempt by Arron Banks to tell them what they should think and do," he said.

“I have received overwhelming support from my constituents since the letter was sent.”

The letter also referenced Mr Collins appearance at the journalism festival Byline in August, a festival which Mr Banks described as "left-wing Momentum-style". The MP was speaking about the committee's report into fake news. 

A spokesperson for the DCMS committee said Mr Collins "does all sorts of speaking arrangements". 

Mr Banks concluded his letter by calling on Mr Collins' constituents to join the Conservative Party to "put his position into question". 

"It is clear Damian Collins would betray the democratic instructions of his own constituents if he had the chance, which is why I encourage you to put his position into question by joining the Conservatives and applying pressure from within the party," Mr Banks said.