Change politics for good.
Change British politics for good. The brand new Brexit Party is trying to do just that with one simple message and one very familiar name. Waiting in the wings to take the crowd and Britain’s political landscape by storm. Nigel Farage, a self-declared man of the people, who speaks for the millions allegedly ignored by Westminster.
Nigel! Nigel! Nigel! Nigel!
Three years of being told we didn’t know what we voted for! How dare you!
The Brexit Party is about much more than just delivering Brexit.
How are we? How are we?
It promises to smash the two-party system and reconnect British democracy to the ordinary voter. The message is clear, but what about the money? Who’s actually been paying for Nigel Farage?
You’ve said in an interview previously that you’ve received one big donation.
Who was that from?
No, no, no. Oh, yes. I’m really going to tell you his name, aren’t I?
Well, why not?
Because then you would all hound him.
One donor pledging 200,000 pounds has now been disclosed, but the rest we won’t know until the end of July. Could one of them be Arron Banks, the insurance tycoon, Farage’s first big backer and still his biggest backer to date?
Arron Banks has expressed interest in funding the party.
No? But do you think he would be interested?
No. That’s four times.
At any point?
Thank you. No. That’s five times.
Why so flustered and why so many nos? Is it because big money doesn’t fit into the DNA of the Brexit Party?
Do I get one?
Of course you do.
A rapidly swelling army of 100,000 supporters in less than a month, each pledging small donations. Is it because Banks himself is under investigation at the National Crime Agency for the 8 million pounds he gave to Leave.EU during the referendum? He’s always denied any wrongdoing. After the Brexit referendum, Nigel Farage famously declared job done.
We got our country back!
He carried on as a European member of parliament, but quit the leadership of UKIP.
I now feel that I’ve done my bit, and so I feel it’s right that I should now stand aside as leader of UKIP.
In fact, Farage is now set on building a whole new political empire with the help of an old friend. Now, we’ve seen evidence that suggests that in the year after Nigel Farage quit the leadership of UKIP, Arron Banks, through his companies, financed much of his political operation and his lavish lifestyle to the tune of around half a million pounds. Almost immediately, Banks and his team at Leave.EU put Farage up here in a house in splendid Chelsea. They paid for business class flights, many of them to the United States, and they threw in a bodyguard who also doubled up as a driver.
Now, what does a driver need? A driver needs a car, so Banks also provided one of those. Thank you very much, to ferry Farage around the country. The car at the time would have been worth around 32,000 pounds, and emails show that Farage’s four-man security detail cost 20,000 pounds a month. Banks agreed to pay 5000 pounds of this for the driver. And that was just the start. Within a month of Farage stepping down as UKIP leader, he set up in his own bachelor pad. Not just any old bedsit, though.
Banks rents him his quaint, 4 million pound property in the heart of Chelsea. Now, rentals don’t come cheap in this neighborhood, and we’ve seen estimates that Arron Banks paid up to 13,000 pounds a month for this pad. He also paid almost 2,500 pounds for council tax and other bills and 3000 pounds for security cameras. He also threw in a curtain. A shower curtain. So what else does an anti-establishment politician need? How about an office in the heart of Westminster? During the referendum, this was UKIP’s base.
When they moved out, Arron Banks offered to keep Farage’s office here, complete with smoking terrace. Banks’ team offered to pay 1,500 pounds a month. Here’s the big question. Having won the referendum and with Nigel Farage very much being out of the public eye, why would Arron Banks finance all this? Was he just trying to help an old friend, or was he perhaps trying to turn brand Farage into a global phenomenon? Just two weeks after the referendum, Banks’ team booked Farage on a business class flight to Cleveland, Ohio. The venue of the Republican convention.
When Trump got the nomination, Nigel and Arron were there.
Put America first!
All in all, Banks spent hundreds of thousands of pounds so that Farage could huddle with the new power in Washington. Much of it organized by Banks’ fixer there, a lobbyist called Gerry Gunster. Best way to build brand Farage? (singing) Throw a party. Well, a luncheon. On the sidelines of the convention, Farage hosted this event extolling the virtues of Brexit. Banks paid the lobbyist 41,000 pounds to host so-called political thought leaders, media and elected officials. He also paid 11,000 pounds for this man, anchorman Tucker Carlson. Household name, especially in Fox News households.
It was contempt for the voters who made that decision.
Yes, we were all stupid, old, ignorant. Didn’t realize the consequences of what we’d done.
The plan appeared to be working. Farage was mingling with the great and the good, including Senator Bob Corker, Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee and John Bolton, former US Ambassador to the UN, now Trump’s national security advisor.
Come here. Come here, Nigel. Come here.
And to cap it all …
You know, they go around calling me Mr. Brexit.
Donald Trump plucks Nigel out of the crowd.
What a job he’s done. Now, if I don’t get there, he’s still going to be number one. If I get there, I may supersede him.
I think you will. I think you will.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Nigel Farage.
Nigel Farage is given the honor of appearing on stage with Trump. The only foreign politician to do so. Trump’s very own bestie from Britain.
We made June the 23rd our independence day when we smashed the establishment!
After the speech, he leaves the arena. Behind him, his loyal benefactor, Arron Banks. So, apart from the now famous ride in Trump’s golden elevator, what else did Farage and Banks hope to get out of it? One email gives a hint. Just one day before that famous meeting, a plan was hatched to cash in on brand Nigel. Washington strategist and Banks ally Gerry Gunster proposed a political powerhouse to provide strategy, lobbying, creative services, and paid advocacy to companies, organizations, and individuals. With staff that are closely aligned with the new US administration and with UK political leaders. As for the money. Profits would be divided 50/50 between Gunster and Banks, with a separate agreement with Nigel Farage.
I, Donald John Trump do solemnly swear.
Congratulations, Mr. President.
Trump is finally in the Oval Office, and Farage and Banks are back in town throwing even more money at project Nigel. This time 100,000 pounds for an inauguration party. It’s not clear what that money actually achieved in the end, but three years after the glamor and promise of Washington, Nigel Farage has gone from DC to MT. Merthyr Tydfil. By the way, he is still an elected MEP on a salary of 100,000 euros a year, plus expenses. None of the gifts that we uncovered have been declared to the EU parliament. Tonight, it told us that spending linked to political activity should be disclosed. If he was a Westminster MP, he would have to declare all of them. Nigel, how are you?
Can I just ask you a quick question?
You can try.
You pride yourself on being an ordinary man in touch with the people, but are you in fact a kept man?
I’m fighting a European election campaign. You can bore on with whatever you want to bore on.
It’s a legitimate question about the money that you were paid by Arron Banks between 2016 and 2017 funding your lifestyle and your political operation to the tune of almost half a million pounds a year.
Three or four times that, I’d have thought.
So 13,000 pounds for the house in Chelsea paid for by Arron Banks? True or not true?
Is there a European election next week?
Yeah. We’ll ask about that in a minute.
But let’s talk about the money for a second.
No, not really.
5,000 pounds for the bodyguard and driver a month? 13,000 pounds for the house in Chelsea a month? You said in 2017 that you were skint. That there was no money in politics, but there clearly was quite a lot of money in it for you, wasn’t there? Yes or no? Why don’t you want to talk about these things? I mean, none of this is illegal, but this is important. You’re running for public office. It’s a matter of transparency.
It certainly is. We’ve got a democratic election next Thursday which is all about democracy, and you won’t even talk about it.
You rail against the elite, the metropolitan elite in London.
I do. I rail against people like you. You’re quite right.
And yet, you’re living a lifestyle of the elite, or you were.
Well, I was.
Financed by very rich friends.
Terrible, isn’t it?
No comment on this?
None at all.
Nigel, who’s paying for all this now? Is it Arron Banks still paying for some of it?
Excuse me. Excuse me.
Who’s paying for all of this now, Nigel? While we waited for him to reappear, we counted at least five bodyguards. That’s about 25,000 pounds a month in personal security. Nigel, one more time just for the record. Who’s paying for this operation now, for all your bodyguards?
Arguably no politician has done more to change or challenge Westminster politics than Nigel Farage. He was after all, the driving force behind the original Brexit referendum and now he’s back with a vengeance, parking his tanks on Tory and Labour turf. Railing against the corrupt Westminster bubble and the metropolitan elite here in London. Cloth cap on head, pint very much in hand. Perhaps that’s why he’s so coy about the fact that his richest friend has been bankrolling so much of his lifestyle and his political operation.
We won’t actually know who exactly has been funding the Brexit Party until July, by which time British politics may have been transformed. Nigel Farage, with his presidential style, his branded politics and his funding has become a very American politician. But when it comes to explaining the money behind him, he’s less swagger and more stagger. Now, we asked the Brexit Party to come on the program tonight, but they declined. Arron banks told us, “Channel Four’s attempt to smear myself and Nigel comes at a time when the Brexit Party is riding high in the polls, so it should come as no surprise to anyone.”