UKIP interim leader Nigel Farage — dubbed “Mr Brexit” by Donald Trump — pulled off a remarkable stunt on Saturday when he became the first foreign politician to visit the US President-elect.
The most widely circulated photo of the meeting showed the pair alone, but another photo shared by a UKIP aide shows the whole group of Farage acolytes who made the visit to Trump Tower in New York.
So who are the team that have dubbed themselves the “Brex pistols?”
Gerry Gunster (far left): The 48-year-old American polling guru was recruited was recruited to mastermind the Leave.EU referendum campaign. The group applied unsuccessfully to become the official Brexit campaign group, but nonetheless retained a highly influential position in the outcome of the referendum, due in no small part to Gunster’s polling expertise.
Arron Banks: Hailed as “the man who bought Brexit,” the insurance tycoon worth a reported £100 million funded the Leave.EU campaign and is the largest UKIP donor. A close confidante of Farage, Banks has announced his intention bring Trump-style politics to the UK, and will back an initiative to “drain the swamp” in the UK by targeting politicians in Westminster who he believes to be “lazy” or “corrupt.” He wrote a memoir about the EU referendum entitled “The Bad Boys of Brexit.”
Donald Trump: the president-elect.
Nigel Farage: buoyed by the Leave campaign’s shock victory in the UK, the interim UKIP leader travelled to America in August to express his admiration for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He drew parallels between Brexit and Trump’s ascendancy, and while he initially stopped short of endorsing the Republican candidate, he has since been more open in his support. After the pair’s most recent meeting, he tweeted:
It was a great honour to spend time with @realDonaldTrump. He was relaxed and full of good ideas. I’m confident he will be a good President. pic.twitter.com/kx8cGRHYPQ
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) November 12, 2016
Andrew Wigmore: Wigmore, who hails from Belize, was head of Leave.EU’s communications during the referendum and is a close friend of Arron Banks. According to his LinkedIn page, he still holds a diplomatic position at the Belize High Commission. He features on the front cover of Arron Banks’ Brexit memoir (far right in the picture of the memoir).
Raheem Kassam (far right): Kassam is currently editor-in-chief of Breitbart London, the UK wing of far-right American news network Breitbart. As a journalist, Kassam has courted controversy for numerous remarks, including a tweet in which he suggested that someone tape Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s legs together “so she can’t reproduce.” He has also acted as Nigel Farage’s political adviser, and briefly ran for the UKIP leadership before withdrawing.
On Monday, Trump appointed Breitbart’s executive chairman Steve Bannon as his strategist, prompting angry responses from many who believe he is a neo-Nazi and anti-Semite — and Kassam, who is close friends with Bannon, is eyeing a job within the new White House administration.
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