#Arron_Banks Seeks To Get His Money Back From #Ukip By Retrospective Billing …
Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 23/03/2017
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Former Ukip donor demands £170,000 BACK from the party after being kicked out for jibes at leader
- Businessman Arron Banks has sent Ukip bill for £170,000 for back office services
- But party has insisted it will not pay up as his support had been ‘voluntary’
- Row comes after fallout over Banks’ demand to be made Ukip chairman
A former Ukip donor has demanded the party hand back more than £170,000 after he was kicked out for criticising the leader.
Insurance tycoon Arron Banks has sent Ukip a six-figure bill for back office services his company has provided to the party.
Ukip last night insisted Mr Banks’ support, which is thought to include the use of his call centres, had always been voluntary.
A Ukip source told the Mail: ‘We are not paying it and there is no written contract so it could end up in court. He is trying to destroy Ukip.’
Insurance tycoon Arron Banks has sent Ukip a six-figure bill for back office services he says were provided by his company
A party spokesman said: ‘Since Arron Banks first became involved with Ukip, before the last general election, he has been a generous donor.
‘All the support he has given Ukip has been on that basis and not on a supplier/client one. We don’t understand why he now claims his generous donations were something different.’
Mr Banks earlier this month threatened to start a rival party after Ukip refused to renew his membership. He tweeted: ‘Ukip 2.0, the force awakens.’
The businessman, who funded the Leave.EU campaign in last year’s Brexit referendum, gave £1 million to Ukip ahead of the 2015 general election.
But last month he warned he would pull his funding unless he was made chairman so he could purge its only MP Douglas Carswell. He also mocked party leader Paul Nuttall, saying he ‘couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding’ and accused the party of being ‘run like a jumble sale’.
In a letter to Mr Banks, Mr Nuttall turned down his request to become party chairman. He wrote: ‘Any and all contributions to our work are welcome.
‘However, I should make clear that, whilst I am open to working with you on improving and enhancing our party, the party chairmanship is not on offer.
‘In addition, whilst the NEC are keen to discuss and examine your ideas, they are concerned about continuing negative and damaging publicity flowing from this matter.
‘Mindful of their primary responsibility to safeguard the reputation of Ukip, they have asked me to tell you that should you choose to further criticise Ukip, its leadership or the elected representatives in either the media or on social media, they will withdraw their invitation.’
Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has turned down Mr Banks’ request to be made party chairman
The row is the latest set-back for the party after Mr Nuttall faced accusations that he lied over losing close friends in the Hillsborough disaster and lost in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by election last month.
Mr Banks last year gave Ukip £199,000 making him the party’s third biggest donor.
Earlier this month Mr Nuttall claimed the party would be able to survive without his funding. He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: ‘Arron has never been Ukip’s major donor. I have got a commitment from a consortium of Ukip’s biggest donors that we are financially secure going forwards.’
In 2014, Mr Banks upped a proposed £100,000 donation to Ukip to £1 million after William Hague played down the significance of his defection to Ukip, saying: ‘We have not heard of him.’
He last month caused controversy when he said he was ‘sick to death of hearing about Hillsborough’.