Arron Banks, the anti-EU businessman who once donated £1 million to the UK Independence Party, is planning to set up a new right-wing movement which could eventually transform into a political party.
Banks, who was the co-founder of pro-Brexit group Leave.EU, has been surveying supporters of the group to find out if they would be interested in participating in a new political movement, according to The Times. The newspaper is reporting that almost half of Leave.EU supporters expressed an interest.
“The feedback’s been very good,” Banks told the newspaper.
“We’ve been surveying a big chunk [of Leave.EU supporters]… That’s not just UKIP, that includes Conservatives, Labour, Liberal and Hampstead communists.”
The investment tycoon wants the group to be a right-wing version of Momentum — the grassroots movement which was created to support the Labour Party leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. Momentum is separate from Labour but endorses Corbyn and campaigns on his behalf.
Interestingly, the Times’ Lucy Fisher tweeted on Thursday morning suggesting outgoing UKIP leader Nigel Farage could be appointed to head the new group. Farage was not immediately available for comment when BI contacted his office.
Rumours abound that Nigel Farage (+ key aides) will run Arron Banks’ new movement, which will be a “right-wing Momentum” or 38 degrees
— Lucy Fisher (@LOS_Fisher) September 8, 2016
The group will seek to influence government policy and keep the Tories “clean.” We contacted Leave.EU to find out what specific policy goals the group could have but we are yet to receive a response. However, given Banks has pumped millions of pounds into multiple anti-EU groups since becoming involved in politics, his new group will likely pressure the government to respect the public’s will and deliver a Brexit in full.
Banks has also said he would privatise the National Health Service if he ever got the chance in an interview with Bloomberg earlier this year.
The Times added that the tycoon is open to the idea of registering the new movement as a political party if it turns out to be a success. This could potentially damage UKIP’s hopes of growing as a political party as it would have to do battle with a rival right-wing, anti-EU political force for votes.
Banks hasn’t decided a name for the movement and the group’s structure is yet to be finalised. Business Insider is trying to get in touch with him to find out more about his plans.
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