The Leave.EU founder was offered lucrative deals in talks with the envoy

Brexit’s biggest funder, Arron Banks, met the Russian ambassador at least 11 times in the run-up to the EU referendum and in the two months beyond, documents seen by the Observer suggest – seven more times than he has admitted. The same documents suggest the Russian embassy extended a further four invitations but it is not known if they were accepted.

It is the third time the number of such meetings has been revised upwards. For two years, Banks insisted his only contacts with the Russian government consisted of one “boozy lunch” with the ambassador.

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