A BBC apology is very rare. But I'm not done, I want to find out the truth, says Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage responds to 'very rare' BBC apology - 'I want to find out the truth'

GB News
Nigel Farage

By Nigel Farage

Published: 24/07/2023

- 20:36

Updated: 25/07/2023

- 09:52

'Thank you - a fulsome apology from the BBC is not something that happens very often'

Good evening, I told the world about three weeks ago that Coutts had closed my business and my personal accounts and had not given any reason what so ever. I also said that I'd struggled to open bank accounts literally anywhere else.

But this began to really matter on the 4th of July when the BBC ran this headline, "Nigel Farage bank account shut for falling below the wealth limit", which led of course to much hilarity among political commentators in the media.

And of course me saying the whole thing was political was clearly some sort of crackpot conspiracy, but once I got my subject access request back from Coutts, and goodness me, I didn't really expect 36 pages of bile vitriol, and actually quite a lot of it, frankly, just outright libellous.

The only way that I could disprove the BBC story was to publish it in full, and there are many things in that report I did not want to put into the public domain, so vile were they. But I had to do it and this all emerged last Thursday when of course I got a letter of apology from Dame Allison Rose, who is the CEO of the entire Nat West group.

I felt that the BBC, frankly, were being a little bit slow in correcting the story and changing the headline and I thought the hurt the story had caused me was such that actually I really, really, really wanted an apology.

Well, BBC apologies are very, very rare. They only happen once every few years, but today I got that apology and it began with Simon Jack, the BBC's business editor.

He said: "The information on which we based our reporting on Nigel Farage and his bank accounts came from a trusted and senior source, however, the information turned out to be incomplete and inaccurate.

"Therefore, I would like to apologise to Mr Farage."

On top of that, I got a letter this afternoon which I was pleased to get, and it came from Deborah Turn as the CEO of BBC News and Current Affairs.

She says: "I would therefore like to apologise to you on behalf of BBC News."

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Simon, Jack. Thank you, Deborah Tenness.

I know some will say it took too long, but thank you, a fulsome apology from the BBC is not something that happens very often.

I'm delighted to get it, but when we go into the detail of this letter, it's really, really interesting because again, she repeats that a senior and trusted source had put this information out.

But what was really interesting, what I learned from this letter, was that, she says, we went back to the source to check they were happy for us to publish the information, they said that they were.

Now the BBC have apologised, they are now out of it. Which points the finger back to Coutts at West Banking Group.

Howard Davis is the chairperson, of the whole group and he hasn't said a word. Peter Flavel is the CEO of Coutts Bank hasn't said a word. And Dame Allison Rose sent me that letter on Thursday. That letter of apology, well, let's call it, shall we? It's half an apology.

And I want to get, I want to get to the absolute truth of what happened here. How could it be right? And it doesn't matter whether it's me or anybody else, how could it be right that my banking status and the amount of money I may or may not have in my personal and business accounts are being discussed with the business editor of the BBC and then disseminated to a wider world?

How can that be ethical? How can that be legal? How can that be moral? I want to find out the truth and I'm blooming well going to find out the truth. Since I was last with you, I've now put in a subject access request to NatWest as well, to see what they hold about me and whether the name Dame Allison Rose crops out there.

I've also been to the Information Commissioner's Office at the end of last week and they've got real powers of investigation. We will get to the source. The trouble is all of this will take a bit of time in the short term.

I think a bank, a bank which we own 39 per cent of, a bank that has got between 15 and 20 million customers. I think this is an issue that matters so much. I really believe that the Treasury Select Committee should be reconvened because what is happening to me with Coutts Bank and the Nat West Group actually is happening to thousands, possibly tens of thousands of businesses all over this country.

And I have now effectively become their voice and I'm going to stand up and fight not just for me but for all of them too. I also want to say thank you.

I have never ever put my head over the parapet on a political or current affairs issue and had this level of support and it comes from across the board because this is a non partisan issue.

Goodness me, even people in the Guardian writing things about me saying, 'well we might not agree with him, but actually on this he is right' and the huge numbers of people that have emailed me texted me, been in touch with me.

The tales of woe that I'm getting from men and women who've had their small business accounts closed down by the banks.

This is a massive national scandal and it gets even worse because they intend to start looking at your social media. Believe me, this isn't just about me. Once I'm out of the way, they want to come for you too.

Thank you to Rishi Sunak for his support on this issue. Thank you. Thank you very much indeed to Andrew Griffith, the City minister who is calling the heads of 19 banks into Downing Street this week to say you should not close people's accounts just because of their political views.

This isn't over far, a long way. I think what we've really exposed here is the political takeover of corporate institutions and the way in which innocent ordinary people are suffering. This campaign will go on, I promise you, for a very, very long time.

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