LONDON (Sputnik) — Gawain Towler, the spokesman for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), told Sputnik on Tuesday that claims about the party receiving donations from Breitbart, an US-based right-wing news outlet, in the run-up to 2016 Brexit referendum were "ridiculous."
"A lot of the media attention on this points to a desperate need to find some kind of justification as to why the British people chose to leave the European Union. They can't just accept the result, so of course there has to be some kind of deeper darker reason behind our success," Towler said.
According to the agency's spokesperson, the UK Electoral Commission has not seen any evidence of inappropriate donations received by the UK Independence Party during the campaign ahead of the 2016 Brexit referendum.
"If anyone has evidence that any political party or registered campaigner has received a donation that it has not reported in line with the political finance rules, they should provide it to us, so we can consider it in line with our enforcement policy," the spokesperson added.
On Monday, the Guardian and the Independent newspapers ran stories about UKIP whistleblowers informing the UK Electoral Commission that some individuals, remunerated by Breitbart, had been working as unpaid UKIP volunteers, which could be construed as an indirect political donation and an attempt to influence the party.
This is not the first time the issue of alleged foreign nations’ influence on the Brexit referendum has been raised in the United Kingdom. The UK Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee said last week it had written to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, requesting information on the use of Facebook advertising and pages by Russia-linked accounts ahead of this year's Brexit referendum and general election. Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko has called allegations of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum "insulting" to UK citizens, and unconvincing.