Arron Banks' attorneys have penned a letter to Guy Verhofstadt, asking him to retract his accusations against the Leave.EU campaigner after the MEP took to Twitter to claim that Banks had colluded with Moscow to “deliver” Brexit. The lawyers cited Verhofstadt’s tweet, which mentioned ex-UKIP chief Nigel Farage among other European politicians in a “fifth column,” seeking to “destroy” the European Union from within.
Europe has a fifth column in its ranks: Putin's cheerleaders who want to destroy Europe & liberal democracy from within: Le Pen, Wilders, Farage, Orbàn, Kaczynski, Salvini use Kremlin money & intel. Like Farage's friend Arron Banks, who colluded w/ Russians to deliver #Brexit— Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) 13 июня 2018 г.
“Anyone reading the tweet would be left in no doubt that it defames our client. Please now delete the tweet and tweet a retraction,” the lawyers' letter to Verhofstadt read, while Banks said that the coordinator’s claim was an “outrageous statement.”
Speaking with Reuters, Banks said, “We are not funded by the Russians.”
“If he does not retract the statement, we will go ahead and sue him for defamation. So he can save himself a whole load of time and money and just retract it,” the media outlet cited him as saying.
Hours after Verhofstadt published the accusations, Farage responded with a tweet, denouncing his claims as a “baseless lie.”
This is a baseless lie.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) 13 июня 2018 г.
I have never received any Russian financial or political support.
I suggest you withdraw. https://t.co/jxb0YrrwVc
Farage and Verhofstadt have traded barbs on numerous occasions: after the latter was appointed as the European Parliament’s chief Brexit coordinator, Farage called him a “fanatic” and the “high priest” of the EU.
The Brexit referendum was held on June 23, 2016, with about 51.9 percent of British voters saying "yes" to their country leaving the European Union; the formal separation is set to happen in March 2019.