Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy has responded to Arron Banks’ accusations of Channel 4 being ‘fake news’, saying the Leave.EU co-founder was talking 'nonsense'.
On Sunday, Channel 4 journalist Fatima Manji approached Banks as he left the BBC following an appearance on the Andrew Marr show, and asked him if he’d make his accounts available to Channel 4.
“I won’t make anything available to Channel 4,” he responded.
“Channel 4 News is the leading proponent of fake news and Remainer… angst in the country.”
Banks has been referred to the National Crime Agency over alleged criminal activity around his donations to pro-Brexit campaigns, which he is accused of “concealing the true source” of the money.
'Trustworthy news organisation'
“It’s nonsense,” Guru-Murthy told Julia Hartley-Brewer on the talkRADIO breakfast show.
“All research into what our viewers think about Channel 4 News shows show we’re a very trustworthy news organisation and we do our best to try and hold people to account.
“We’ve obviously done some stories about Arron Banks and his money and his business affairs, which he’s not a huge fan of.
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“That may account for the fact he didn’t want to come on and talk to us yesterday.”
He added that Banks had spoken to Channel 4 News before, about his campaign to “unseat Tory MP Damian Collins”.
Banks had sent letters to Mr Collins’ constituents calling the MP a “disgrace”.
Attitudes to Brexit
Guru-Murthy also spoke about some of the findings of a 20,000-person survey conducted by Channel 4 on attitudes to Brexit.
“We’ve asked them a range of questions - what they think of Theresa May’s deal, what their red lines are, what they think of the Northern Ireland border, what they think of immigration, how important an issue is immigration now compared to how it seemed during the referendum itself,” said Guru-Murthy.
The results released so far show 43% of people said they’d support a referendum giving a choice between remaining or accepting the deal, but 37% opposed those being the terms of the referendum.
A choice between a deal or no-deal had 38% of respondents’ support, while 39% opposed that.
Guru-Murthy added that there was still uncertainty around Brexit’s impact.
“We definitely don’t know [what the deal will be], a lot of politicians don’t honestly know,” he said.
“When it comes to what people think Brexit is or what it’s going to deliver, that’s a big unknown. It’s astonishing that we’re sitting here two years after the vote with so much uncertainty.”
Brexit: What The Nation Really Thinks will air on Channel 4 at 8pm on Monday