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Tue Jun 19, 2018, 07:49 AM

Leave. EU (Brexiteers) faces new questions over contacts with Russia

A leader of the Leave.EU campaign suggested sending a “message of support” to the Russian ambassador after the then foreign secretary made a speech that was critical of Russia, documents seen by the Observer suggest.

The material also appears to show that Andy Wigmore, spokesman for the Leave.EU campaign and the business partner of Arron Banks, the biggest funder of Brexit, passed confidential legal documents to high-ranking officials at the Russian embassy and then denied it to parliament.

The documents related to George Cottrell, an aide to Nigel Farage who was with him on the campaign trail for Donald Trump in July 2016. Cottrell was arrested by the FBI and charged with 21 counts of money laundering, bribery and wire fraud.

Damian Collins, chair of the culture, media and sport select committee, said that Banks and Wigmore appeared to have misled parliament and “what we really need to know is why”. He added: “It makes you question whose side they are on.”

According to material seen by the Observer, Wigmore, who was Belize’s trade envoy to Britain at the time, forwarded an email to a Russian diplomat marked “Fw Cottrell docs – Eyes Only”. It is understood the email, dated 20 August 2016, showed six attachments of legal documents relating to Cottrell’s arrest by federal agents. It appears that Wigmore sent it to Sergey Fedichkin , a third secretary at the Russian embassy, saying: “Have fun with this.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/16/leave-eu-russia-arron-banks-andy-wigmore?CMP=share_btn_tw

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