Leave.EU goes into liquidation owning more than £7m - including debt to co-founder Arron Banks
The lobby group was founded to support Nigel Farage’s campaign to leave the European Union.
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Leave.EU, the major pro-Brexit political campaign group, has gone into liquidation, according to a new exclusive from NationalWorld’s sister site BristolWorld.
Documents submitted to Companies House have revealed that the organisation owes a total of £7.1million in debts.
This includes a £7m debt to co-founder Arron Banks, who resigned as group director in January 2021, and thousands of pounds in fines to the Information Commissioners’ Office as well as to Summit Media Management, a company based in Bristol.
The political body was initially co-founded by Mr Banks as a support group for Nigel Farage and his campaign to leave the European Union - but it was ultimately Vote Leave that was chosen as the official campaign for the 2016 Brexit referendum.
The lobby group continued to campaign for Leave, but came under fire when it made ‘serious breaches’ of electronic marketing laws.
It emerged that Leave.EU had sent subscribers more than a million emails including marketing for GoSkippy insurance brand, while almost 300,000 emails containing a Leave.EU newsletter were sent to customers of the insurance company.
This resulted in a £70,000 fine, which the group lost an appeal against last year - prompting the start of its economic decline.
Now, the group - which was last registered to Henleaze Business Centre, Bristol - has gone into liquidation.
Its total assets, according to a statement of affairs submitted to Companies House, are estimated to be worth £4,233.
The £7m debt to Mr Banks comes after he 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.
The fines owed to the Information Commissioners’ Office are for £52,050, while Summit Media Management are owed £2,719.
Rob Coad and Sam Talby, liquidators from Undebt.co.uk based in Bristol, were appointed for the winding-up of the group.
At the time of the liquidation, the sole director of the group was Gloucestshire-based Jacobus Coetzee - following Mr Arron’s resignation in 2021.
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 enquires if required.”
The liquidators have been contacted for comment.