Northern Ireland news

Arron Banks walks out of select committee for lunch with MPs Paisley and Wilson

Andy Wigmore and Arron Banks with Ian Paisley and Sammy Wilson shortly after walking out of a Commons committee session

AFTER one of the most irreverent appearances in front of a Westminster committee on record, the two men behind the controversial Leave.EU campaign walked out of a session yesterday to have lunch with two DUP MPs.

Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore, were later pictured on a roof terrace of a House of Commons bar with Brexit supporters Ian Paisley and Sammy Wilson.

The pair had earlier laughed and joked their way through questioning at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

They have come under scrutiny following reports about meetings with the Russian ambassador to the UK and discussion of possible investment in Russian gold mines.

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After three hours before the committee, Mr Banks stood up and said he was leaving as he was late for a lunch appointment.

Asked by chairman Damien Collins if he could give them five more minutes, he replied: "I'm sorry but it's time to go... the word is no, you said 20 minutes and we've gone over 20 minutes... I'm sorry about that but we're late."

The men then met Mr Paisley - who had been present during some of the session - and Mr Wilson for lunch in a Commons restaurant.

Mr Paisley later joked about the Russian reports, tweeting a picture of himself with the pair and his East Antrim colleague and saying; "Great to catch up on a busy day with Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore to discuss Brexit and beyond over an entertaining lunch. Interesting to note no caviar or vodka."

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