Brexit backer Banks denies allegation he misused information in marketing campaign

LONDON (Reuters) – A outstanding campaigner to go away the European Union, Arron Banks, denied allegations on Tuesday by a former worker of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica that he had misused private information for political functions.

FILE PHOTO: British businessman Arron Banks, who has funded the Depart.EU marketing campaign, is seen in the course of the opening day of the UK Independence Occasion (UKIP) annual convention at Doncaster Racecourse in Doncaster, northern Britain September 25, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

Brittany Kaiser testified to a committee of British lawmakers that Depart.EU founder Banks may need damaged information safety legislation by mixing buyer information from his insurance coverage companies with voter contact lists, and that he had refused to pay a invoice for work achieved by Cambridge Analytica.

Banks informed Reuters the testimony was “sheer whoppers”, a British colloquialism for lies.

British consultancy agency Cambridge Analytica lies on the middle of a storm for utilizing information obtained from tens of millions of Fb customers with out their permission after it was employed by Donald Trump for his 2016 U.S. presidential election marketing campaign.

Kaiser mentioned she was no knowledgeable in information however that she believed that the variety of Fb customers compromised in related methods was “a lot larger” than the present estimate of 87 million.

The analytics agency can also be below scrutiny over alleged campaigning for the 2016 referendum when Britons voted to go away the European Union.

Kaiser mentioned that on a go to to Banks’ headquarters in Bristol, she had seen a name middle the place information for Eldon and GoSkippy, Banks’ insurance coverage companies, was being utilized by Depart.EU.

“In hindsight, I now assume that there’s cause to imagine that misuse of information was rife amongst the companies and campaigns of Arron Banks,” she mentioned in written testimony to the committee.

Banks informed Reuters it was well-known that Depart.EU had arrange a name middle in his workplaces, however there was a separate dataset for politics, and there was “no overlap in any respect.”

“We completely refute that any insurance coverage information was utilized in it,” he added.

Cambridge Analytica mentioned it had “by no means obtained information from any Arron Banks firm,” in a tweet as Kaiser gave her testimony.

Kaiser additionally mentioned that Banks refused to pay a invoice of 41,500 kilos ($59,500) for preliminary work undertaken by Cambridge Analytica.

Cambridge Analytica and Banks, who was a serious donor to eurosceptic social gathering UKIP, have mentioned that whereas the consultancy pitched for work with Depart.EU, it didn’t have any contracts and no cash modified fingers.

The unpaid invoice was an bill for UKIP, Banks mentioned, who determined to not proceed with the mission and mentioned that the work achieved was “so superficial that it didn’t warrant what was being charged.”

“It had nothing to do with the referendum marketing campaign” he mentioned.

Banks reiterated that Depart.EU determined to not use Cambridge Analytica after his marketing campaign was not designated because the official marketing campaign to go away the European Union.

The chair of the committee of lawmakers, Damian Collins, has mentioned that Depart.EU nonetheless benefited from work achieved earlier than that call was made.

Further reporting by Eric Auchard; enhancing by Stephen Addison

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