Arron Banks on MP bid: ‘I know nothing about Clacton at all’
Former Ukip donor Arron Banks has admitted he knows "nothing at all" about the Essex constituency where he hopes to become MP in the June 8 general election.
The millionaire businessman, who has business links to Gibraltar and bankrolled the Leave.EU campaign in last year's Brexit referendum, has said he will challenge former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell in Clacton.
He promised to run a "positive" campaign and said he would take no salary and serve for only one term if elected.
But he told BBC Radio Essex he only knew the town from a "fabulous day out" during the referendum campaign and as a hotbed of euroscepticism.
Asked what he knew about Clacton, Bristol-based Mr Banks said: "Not a great deal, but we are down there on Monday. I went there during the referendum and had a fabulous day out and I think we are looking forward to getting to know people down there.
"I know nothing about Clacton at all, apart from the fact that it is one of the strongest supporting areas for euroscepticism.
"I have got a reputation for just saying it as it is. My plan is to go down to Clacton, see what the issues are and then we will start to campaign."
Mr Banks is no longer a member of Ukip and it was unclear what banner he will stand under or whether the eurosceptic party would put up a candidate against him. He suggested that the situation would become clear following a meeting on Wednesday.
After giving £1 million to Ukip in 2015, he has been focusing in recent months on establishing a new movement to "drain the swamp" of Westminster politics.
He has repeatedly accused Mr Carswell, who dramatically defected from the Conservatives in 2014 but quit Ukip to become an independent in March, of deliberately undermining Nigel Farage's efforts in the referendum.
Setting out his plans for the election on Twitter, Mr Banks said: "We will be running a positive campaign and laying out a plan for Clacton.
"We will be asking the Leave.EU supporters to fund the campaign and I will stand for one term only taking no salary."