Police should investigate whether Russia fixed the result of the EU referendum, a Birmingham MP says.
Liam Byrne, Labour MP for Hodge Hill, called for a police inquiry after it emerged millionaire Brexit donor Arron Banks had meetings with the Russian ambassador to Britain and visited Moscow at the height of the campaign.
Mr Byrne said the Electoral Commission, the official elections watchdog, should call in London’s Metropolitan Police.
He said: “It’s now critical that the Electoral Commission calls in the Metropolitan Police to help get to the bottom of where Bankes’ millions for Leave.EU truly came from.
“We HAVE to know the truth of whether Russia bought the Brexit vote.”
Mr Banks, a former Ukip donor, gave £9 million to the Leave.EU and Grassroots Out Brexit campaigns, mostly in the form of loans and branded merchandise.
Leave.EU was an unofficial campaign during the 2016 EU referendum. It was supported by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and highlighted the issue of immigration.
The official Vote Leave campaign, supported by Boris Johnson and former Birmingham MP Gisela Stuart, focused more on the cost of EU membership.
Leaked emails have revealed that Mr Banks held three meetings with Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko.
Mr Banks had previously claimed he met the ambassador only once, at a “six-hour boozy lunch”.
But it has emerged that along with his right hand man Andy Wigmore he had two further meetings with the ambassador. Mr Banks also visted Moscow in February 2016, as the referendum campaign was under way.
Mr Banks denies there is anything to investigate. He told the Guardian newspaper: “I am not involved in Russian espionage. I saw the ambassador once, I saw him twice, so what? I don’t care. At the first lunch, we had a discussion about how unlikely he thought Brexit was.”