🔥 🇷🇺 Farage is the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip). As well being instrumental in leading the Leave.EU campaign, Farage reportedly played a key role in befriending and connecting key Bad Boys Arron Banks, Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon.
Andy Wigmore has revealed that Robert Mercer introduced Farage and Leave.EU to Cambridge Analytica, the company that used its own database and voter information collected from Facebook in the campaign to help elect Donald Trump. These also proved highly useful to the Brexit campaign. “They were happy to help,” Wigmore explained, “because Nigel is a good friend of the Mercers.”
Mercer is a key backer of Donald Trump, who Farage in turn now describes as “absolutely” his friend. Farage has gone out of his way to demonstrate his loyalty to Trump, defending the President’s deeply disturbing response to the violent incidents at Charlottesville in 2017, when Trump blamed “both sides” after a peaceful anti-racist protestor was killed by a neo-Nazi. Farage also appeared in autumn 2017 at rallies in Alabama in support of far-right Republican candidate Roy Moore, despite Moore facing multiple accusations of sexual assault, some of these allegedly committed against minors.
Farage’s history of support for the extreme right reportedly dates back to his years at private school. One school friend has recalled that teenage Farage used to sing an antisemitic song with the refrain “Gas ‘em all, gas ‘em all”. In 2017 Farage attended (and even received a standing ovation) at a rally for the far-right, anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party in Berlin. He had been invited by his fellow EU Parliament member Beatrix von Storch, a leading member of the AfD and the granddaughter of Hitler’s finance minister.
Farage has often attacked EU “hyper-regulation” and claimed that the European Union wastes large sums of money. EU regulation governing MEPs’ parliamentary expenses has proved particularly tricky for Farage and his Ukip colleagues, and his own have come under intense scrutiny.
In 2017 Farage and Raymond Finch MEP were asked to repay around £84,000 paid to their joint “assistant”, Christopher Adams, who was also Ukip’s national nominating officer and was described as one of the party’s “key people” on its website. Parliamentary officials have suspended Adams’s contract because they are not convinced he was actually working as an MEP assistant.
The same investigation looked at the role of Farage’s wife, Kirsten Farage, who had been paid as an assistant to Finch. Finch has been asked to repay more than £20,000 in expenses because the European Parliament’s financial controllers were not convinced she was doing real work as his assistant between 2014 and 2016. During the same period, she was also the full-time office manager for her husband.
Although Farage has little time for European leaders, he has expressed his admiration for Vladimir Putin – in fact he has named him as the world leader he admires most. Farage is also known to have met with Russia’s Ambassador to the UK in 2013 and with another Russian official in the same year, though when questioned about this second meeting by a journalist he initially appeared to “forget” about it and then called an abrupt halt to the interview.
In 2017 Farage was named as a “person of interest” by the US counter-intelligence investigation looking into possible collusion between the Kremlin and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. This means investigators believe he may have information about the acts that are under investigation.
Farage says he has never visited Russia, but in March 2017 two senior members of his party, Nigel Sussman and Richard Wood, were among a crew of mainly far-right politicians to visit Crimea, illegally annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014. The trip was described by the Moscow Times as a disinformation exercise by the Russian government designed to “help Putin score points at home”. A senior member of Farage’s parliamentary group staff in Brussels, Kevin Ellul Bonic, has been accused of orchestrating a smear campaign against a critic of the Kremlin.
In the run-up to the referendum, Nigel Farage’s office was managed by George Cottrell, who was also Ukip’s co-director of referendum fundraising. Cottrell is a convicted fraudster with a background in the shadiest side of the financial world and links to entities involved in Russian money laundering. Interviewed in November 2017, Farage denied he had accepted money from Russia, though he did not say whether money from Russian sources had flowed into the Brexit campaign.
Farage frequently writes for the extreme right-wing website Breitbart News and has credited its former chief editor Steve Bannon for helping “hugely” with Brexit. Breitbart’s senior editor Raheem Kassam was formerly employed by Farage as his chief-of-staff.