It's time to Leave... for lunch

Andy Wigmore insisted not a

"I can categorically say no, we didn't", Banks said. As for the gold mining project, Mr. Banks said he checked it out and decided not to invest.

When Mr Collins again pressed for five more minutes, Mr Banks responded sternly: "No, no, no - the word is "no".

'So I'm sorry, but I'm afraid it's time to go.

Mr Banks replied: 'No.

The paper quoted Andy Wigmore, a close associate of Banks who was present at the meeting, as saying that they did not offer "any information to (the ambassador) or any Russian any details of our campaign".

Mr Banks revealed he wanted a "good lunch" - and that he indeed got one - when the committee asked what he wanted to gain from meeting the Russian ambassador. The insurance executive also rejected the notion that he had dealings with the Kremlin — though he did acknowledge socializing with the Russian ambassador. It would be nice! "We've now got a full scale Russian witch-hunt going on", he added.

He acknowledged giving the Russian ambassador the telephone number of Donald Trump's transition team before the president won the USA election.

They gave him a phone number for Mr Trump's team, after the Russian admitted Moscow was not prepared for a Republican victory.

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According to details of emails reported by the Sunday Times and the Observer, Mr Banks and Mr Wigmore also discussed potential business opportunities in Russian Federation including a proposal involving six gold mines.

He said: "I like to think I'm an evil genius with a white cap who controls all of democracy, but clearly that's not true".

On Friday, Banks had criticised members of the committee for being biased against Brexit, and pulled out of the hearing, before reversing that decision after the Sunday Times article.

European Union campaign, was questioned by British parliamentarians on Tuesday about his links with Russian Federation amid claims that Moscow had meddled in the 2016 Brexit vote.

He lashed out at politicians, the media and Chris Wylie, the Canadian whistle-blower at the centre of the controversy surrounding United Kingdom -based Cambridge Analytica and its use of personal data from more than 80 million Facebook accounts during the US presidential election campaign.

Mr Banks, who gave £9m to the Leave.EU campaign, was appearing at the committee after the Sunday Times reported he had repeated contacts with Russian officials during the referendum campaign and afterwards. Banks lodged an appeal against that decision on Tuesday, and the MPs said they would not ask Banks about the case given the ongoing legal process. I'm a businessman, why shouldn't I? I do everything legally.

"If you don't like the tax law pertaining to this country, get out there and change that".

They had earlier questioned his right to chair the hearing, accusing him of accepting "hospitality from Putin's number one man in the UK" after reports the Tory MP had received £1,000 tickets to watch Roman Abramovich's Chelsea. Mr. Wigmore described his role during the referendum as an "agent provocateur" who made fun of people to get attention.

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