U.K.'s Leave EU campaigner says he's no evil genius

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Arron Banks, who gave millions of pounds to the Leave.EU campaign, claimed that Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, was targeting him because he wants to reverse Brexit.

He met Russia's United Kingdom ambassador three times in 2015 and 2016, discussing Brexit and Donald Trump's election.

Brexiteer Arron Banks will face further questions from MPs after he admitted he "led people up the garden path" during the referendum campaign.

If there was any attempted Russian interference in the 2016 referendum, it was at an "amateur level", he said.

He says Mr Collins - who voted Remain at the referendum.

Reports in The Sunday Times and The Observer said Mr Banks and his colleague Andy Wigmore, who also appeared before the committee, met Mr Yakovenko in November 2016 to discuss potential business opportunities involving gold mines in Russian Federation.

The two will appear before the Commons culture and media committee on Tuesday to answer questions about alleged Russian involvement in the European Union referendum campaign, having initially pulled out of a hearing on Friday.

Reports on Sunday said the pair met three times, including lunching days after Mr Banks, Mr Wigmore and Mr Farage visited USA president-elect Donald Trump in NY in November 2016. I get the point that if the Russian ambassador asks you round for a drink you go, but this relationship went on for quite some time. Farage: "Were you "reporting back" to the Russian Ambassador?".

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Producer Harvey Weinstein was charged in NY with rape and sexual assault last month. Stallone ever contacted by any authorities or anyone else regarding this matter".

Banks also confirmed to the committee investigating fake news the Brexit-backing group held talks with controversial data firm Cambridge Analytica and meant to use its services if it had been selected as the official Leave campaign - which it was not. "There is no evidence".

Asked if there was any Russian money given to Leave.EU, Mr Wigmore insisted: "No, not one penny or one rouble".

Banks was attending the select committee inquiring into fake news, in the aftermath of the leak of a cache of emails belonging to him, Wigmore and others which suggested that his dealings with Russian Federation were far more extensive than previously thought.

"Parliament itself is the biggest source of fake news in the country", he added. It had not been mentioned.

He had previously said in the book The Bad Boys of Brexit that he had attended one "six-hour boozy lunch" with the Russian ambassador in November 2015, a few months before the Brexit vote, at which they drunk vodka supposedly distilled for Stalin.

The pair promised "fireworks" at their committee appearance, with Mr Banks declaring: "They might be in for a tough time of it".

His appearance comes after Prime Minister Theresa May said calls for an inquiry into alleged links between Russian Federation and the campaign to leave the European Union are a matter for the police. The commission is also conducting a separate inquiry into the "true source" of Banks' loans and donations to Leave.EU and Ukip, which amount to at least £9m.

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