The Brexit Party is threatening to sue a Scottish Nationalist MEP for defamation after he accused it of being a “money laundering front”.
The SNP politician, Alyn Smith, was speaking to Sky News in the wake of the Brexit Party’s dramatic victory in the European elections. In his eagerness to pour scorn on the Brexit Party, he may have overegged the pudding somewhat — and could potentially cost himself a lot of money unless he starts eating crow very soon.
Smith told Sky News:
“Well, I’ve been doing this 15 years now, and I’m about to enter my fourth term, and I’ve seen these shysters come and go. And the only question about the Brexit Party now is which laws they have broken and where their campaign finances have come from and we’ll find that out after the campaign.
“But they’re a shell company that’s a money laundering front and I have absolutely no doubt they’ll be shown to be every bit as feckless as their predecessors in UKIP were.”
The Brexit Party and its chairman Richard Tice (pictured) deny this and are now seeking redressal.
— The Brexit Party (@brexitparty_uk) May 29, 2019
A letter, sent to Smith by The Brexit Party’s solicitors warns:
“The statement describing The Brexit Party as ‘shysters’ who have broken the law and as ‘a shell company that’s a money laundering front’ are utterly false and highly damaging. Any viewer who was aware that Mr Tice was the Chairman of the Brexit Party would conclude that you were alleging that Mr Tice is himself running a money laundering operation. Money laundering is a well-known crime; therefore you were implicitly accusing him of serious criminal conduct. This will cause or is likely to cause serious harm to his reputation and to the reputation of the Brexit Party and to its ability to raise funds for its political activities.”
Smith has been given a deadline of noon Thursday to issue a statement, written for him by the solicitors, which includes the phrase: “I am happy to state that in fact that I do not have any evidence to support this allegation. I spoke in the heat of the moment and did not give proper consideration to the implications of what I was saying.”