‘Leave’ donor Arron Banks attacks journalists on Twitter over Brexit racism links
Banks, who is said to have donated up to £6.5 million (about US$8.5 million) to the Brexit campaign, is closely involved in the inner circle of the movement’s furthest right-wing.
Monday saw Banks take on Sky News’s Adam Boulton over the journalist’s claims he had witnessed racial incidents inspired by Brexit.
Boulton said he and his family had seen no fewer than three occasions when EU citizens were asked when they would be leaving the country.
This weekend I and my family have witnessed 3 "when are you going home?" Racist incidents aimed at EU citizens here.— Adam Boulton (@adamboultonSKY) June 26, 2016
Banks shot back, saying Boulton probably didn’t even know anyone who voted ‘Leave.’
Poor media Luv , I bet you didn't have a single friend who voted Out. X https://t.co/vNWz0nE8yO— Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) June 26, 2016
Boulton said he knew plenty who had, and questioned Banks’s approach to racism.
@Arron_banks of course I did and relations too. But I don't have one who would think yours is an appropriate response to racism— Adam Boulton (@adamboultonSKY) June 26, 2016
Banks accused the media of backing ‘Remain’ and denied there had been a racist backlash in the wake of Brexit.
The media batted for IN & understand you are rather cross. I don't believe for 1 min a racist backlash across the Uk https://t.co/P6UHEme3ao— Arron Banks (@Arron_banks) June 26, 2016
Other public figures also waded into the debate, with prominent Tory ‘Remainer’ – and grandson of Winston Churchill – Nicholas Soames saying racism must be stopped.
Members of the public also got involved to ask Banks whether he took responsibility for funding a campaign now being accused of ratcheting up racial tensions.
Contrary to Banks’s view, many pointed out important sections of the media backed ‘Leave.’