Nigel Farage was lavishly funded by insurance tycoon Arron Banks in the year after the Brexit referendum, Channel 4 News has alleged, with the insurance tycoon providing him with a furnished Chelsea home, a car and driver, and money to promote him in America.
According to invoices, emails and other documents, Banks, who regularly bankrolled Farage’s former party, Ukip, spent about £450,000 in the year after the referendum, when Farage had quit as Ukip leader, the programme said.
It said the money, some provided via Rock Services Ltd, a company owned by Banks, was used to rent a Chelsea home for £13,000 a month, with Banks purchasing furniture and fittings including crockery and a shower curtain.
Farage was also provided with a Land Rover Discovery and a driver, and Banks sought to raise an extra £130,000 from supporters to cover security.
Farage refused to comment on the claims while Banks dismissed them as a “smear”.
Farage is now leading the Brexit party, formed in January 2019, which is topping polls for this month’s European elections. After quitting as Ukip leader he remained as an MEP, and also made regular appearances on Fox News and other TV shows.
During this period, as well as his MEP’s salary of nearly €9,000 a month, and an extra €30,000 a month declared in media appearances, Farage complained in an interview that he was “53, separated and skint” and that “there’s no money in politics”.
At the time, critics noted that this appeared an unusual claim, given he was then living in the Chelsea home, which is valued at about £4m.
Back in 2010, Mr Farage used Herman Van Rompuy’s maiden speech to the European Parliament to describe him as having the “charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low grade bank clerk”.
He was summoned in by EU officials to explain his comments but said his only apology would be to bank clerks.
Farage has been fined £2,700 after refusing to say sorry.