While many with the insurance industry shook their heads at the outcome of the Brexit referendum, one insurance millionaire had cause to celebrate – because he got exactly what he paid for.
Arron Banks, the founder of GoSkippy, has poured around £1.3million into the UK Independence Party over the last 18 months alone. However, now, despite being tipped to potentially takeover as the party’s new leader after the exit of Nigel Farage several months ago, it appears Banks may be about to walk away.
According to a report in The Telegraph, Banks will discuss the party’s financial position in the coming days with the party in disarray following the decision of its leader Diane James to stand down being quickly followed by the departure of Steven Woolfe after a reported “altercation” with fellow MEP Mike Hookem.
The party is also reported to be in financial strife, owing £315,000 to three donors as of the end of June this year – and with Banks reported to be in “reflection mode since the referendum”.
The Telegraph reports on one of Banks’ friends stating he is “absolutely” considering walking away and “he is not going to put any money in now – he is sick of it.”
Even if Banks were to decide to walk away from the party, however, it is unlikely that his political involvement would be at a close with the friend suggesting that Banks could look to pour more money into the Leave.EU movement which campaigned for an exit from the European Union.
Farage has denied suggestions that he will resign if the party does not agree to a shortened period in which it will elect a new leader. He also commented that the party has a “positive cash balance.”
“We are in a markedly better position than we were, from the entire period of August 2015 to March 2016 when we were struggling as parties often do,” he said in an interview with The Telegraph. “But at the moment we are in very good position.”
He added: “You could have looked at the worst case scenario and said there is several hundred thousand pounds we are in a hole for, but it depends how you look at accounts.”
He went on to say that UKIP was not insolvent saying that would be akin to asking somebody to repay a mortgage overnight.