Alyn Smith, who was returned to Brussels this week as one of three Nationalist MEPs from Scotland, claimed in an interview that the Brexit party was “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”.
That claim prompted the party’s chairman, Richard Tice, to send a legal letter to Mr Smith calling for the MEP to make an immediate statement “making it absolutely clear that neither the Brexit Party nor Mr Tice are involved in money laundering”.
The letter added that if no statement was made by noon on Thursday, May 30 legal proceedings will be issued against him.
Speaking on Sky News, Mr Smith had said: Well, I’ve been doing this fifteen 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 was launched by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage in November 2018 with the aim of ensuring the UK’s departure from the European Union.
It won 29 of the UK’s 73 seats at the European Parliament following last Thursday’s election.
In a statement issued today, Mr Smith said: “Like many others, I would like to see a full, open, and transparent independent inquiry into the funding of Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party.”
He also referred the Brexit party’s law firm to the case of Goldsmith and Another v. Bhoyrul and Other (1998), which found that a political party “is not to have the power to sue in defamation proceedings”.