Exclusive: Leave.EU goes into liquidation owing co-founder Arron Banks £7m

Thousands of pounds are also owed to the Information Commissioners’ Office

Pro-Brexit lobby group Leave.EU has gone into liquidation with debts of more than £7m, documents submitted to Companies House show.

The body was co-founded by Arron Banks as a support group for Nigel Farage and his campaign to leave the European Union - but it was actually Vote Leave which was chosen as the official Leave campaign for the 2016 referendum.

That, however, did not stop the group in its campaign, but it fell foul when it made ‘serious breaches’ of electronic marketing laws by sending subscribers more than a million emails which included marketing for GoSkippy insurance brand.

Almost 300,000 emails containing a Leave.Eu newsletter were also sent to customers of the same company.

The group was subsequently fined £70,000 - and then lost an appeal against the fines last year.

Now it has emerged that the group, which was last registered to Henleaze Business Centre, has gone into liquidation owing a total £7.1m. That includes a £7m debt to Mr Banks, who loaned the group £6m on an interest-free rate until it was novated to Rock Holding Ltd at the end of 2020 when an interest rate of 4% above the Bank of England base rate was applied.

Aaron Banks loaned Leave.EU £6m - and is now owed more than £7m as the group goes into liquidation

The group also owes £52,050 in fines to the Information Commissioners’ Office as well as £2,719 to Bristol-based Summit Media Management.

Mr Banks resigned from the group as director in January 2021. The sole director of the body at the time it went into liquidation in April was Gloucestershire-based Jacobus Coetzee.

Joint liquidators Rob Coad and Sam Talby, both of Undebt.co.uk also based in Bristol, were appointed for the winding-up of the group.

Table from the group’s ‘statement of affairs’ showing the money owed to company creditors, including Arron Banks and the Information Commissioners Office

Its total assets, according to a statement of affairs also submitted to Companies House, are estimated to be worth £4,233.

A spokesperson for the Information Commissioners’ Office said: “We’ll continue to monitor the progress of the insolvency and will support the liquidator with their enquiries if required.”

BristolWorld has contacted the liquidators for comment.