10 ways Remainer establishment took Brexit revenge from Farages bank to Boris

The creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, put some of the wisdom he gathered as an intelligence agent during the Second World War in the novel version of Goldfinger.

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”

That is why the growing scandal about cancelled bank accounts and the apparent targeting of Brexiteers by major banks cannot be seen as a one-off issue.

For some (mostly Remainers who think leading Brexiteers are fair game) it may sound like a conspiracy theory to say that the defeated establishment is seeking collective revenge for Brexit but the business of the bank accounts is just the latest example.

Far from Fleming’s three times, Express.co.uk can identify 10 examples of where Brexiteers have apparently been singled out.

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1. De-banking

The “de-banking” scandal is a good place to start because it highlights how Remainer cancel culture spreads beyond public institutions and into the private work corporate sector.

Nigel Farage has lifted the lid on the whole issue by revealing via his subject access request that his political views played a large part in Coutts deciding to close his bank account.

But Farage is far from alone. Reclaim UK, the party led by Laurence Fox, and Reform UK have both had trouble opening bank accounts or having their accounts threatened.

The issue seems to be affecting those on the Brexiteer right of politics more, although it should be pointed out that Remainer Gina Miller’s Truth and Fair Party has also been targeted.

But, another aspect of this scandal has been how the Remainer establishment has tried to protect itself.

The way that NatWest chief executive Sir Howard Davies has refused to resign and tried to keep hold of the banking group’s former chief executive Dame Alison Rose after she admitted leaking confidential details about Mr Farage’s finances seems to be a perfect example of the arrogance many in the establishment have about their actions.

2. The first Brexit martyr – John Longworth

The Remainer establishment did not even wait for the EU referendum ballot papers to be printed before taking revenge for the first time on a Brexiteer who had the audacity to speak out against the goal of staying locked into Brussels rule.

On March 4 2016 – more than three months before the actual vote on June 23 – John Longworth was suspended as director of the British Chambers after infuriating the then Prime Minister and de facto leader of the Remain campaign David Cameron at the annual BCC conference speech the day before.

In his speech, Longworth (now a regular contributor to Express.co.uk), urged the audience to vote Leave.

He said: “The people of our country now face a choice, between staying in what is essentially an unreformed European Union, with the Eurozone moving off in another direction and with Britain sitting on the margins, or leaving the European Union, with all the near-term uncertainty and disruption that this will cause.”

Two days after his suspension Longworth quit and would go on to be a key figure in Leave Means Leave, the Brexit Party becoming an MEP.

But his place in history will perhaps be as the first Brexit martyr.

3. The Electoral Commission

Perhaps the most egrigious attack on Brexiteers was by the Electoral Commission, which post-2016 appeared to be on a crusade to punish those involved with the Leave campaign.

There were investigations into Vote Leave and other associated groups like BeLeave run by a then-young fashion student Darren Grimes.

The Electoral Commission’s pursuit of Grimes in particular was shocking and ended with them issuing a £20,000 fine for essentially making a mistake with his paperwork.

He managed to overturn it in court and by 2021 a new chairman of the Electoral Commission apologised to him in a bid to restore its damaged reputation.

Strangely enough, when Priti Patel reported apparent irregularities at Remainer group Britain Stronger in Europe to the commission they did not see any reason to investigate.

Nigel Farage talking to Camilla Tominey about bank account closures

4. Honours and peerages

This is another Nigel Farage example. It is believed he has been put forward for a knighthood at least five times and rejected by the vetting committee each time.

Express.co.uk revealed recently that the last time he was nominated was by Boris Johnson when he was Prime Minister but to no avail.

The less clear-cut issue appears to be peerages. The recent rejection of Boris Johnson’s list of people like Nadine Dorries was linked to Brexit among other issues.

It is also true that the elevations of the odd Brexiteer like Kate Hoey and Claire Fox is a mere drop in the ocean of Remainers on the red benches.

Remainers like Ken Clarke, Philip Hammond and Gavin Barwell had little trouble with their peerages.

5. Employment blacklisting

This is the hardest to prove outright but the most sinister aspect of the revenge on Brexiteers by a Remainer establishment.

The actor Laurence Fox is perhaps the most well-known person to be cancelled from his profession for speaking out on Meghan Markle, free speech and, of course, Brexit.

But there have been others as well.

The trade unionist and leftwing Brexiteer Paul Embery was sacked as an official for the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) for supporting Brexit.

Others have not made their cases public but a number of Leave and former Brexit Party MEPs have spoken privately of being suddenly blocked from jobs, job interviews or even longlists after making their views on the EU well known.

6. The BBC

The idea that the BBC is impartial – as it is supposed to be in its much-vaunted Charter – has been blown away by Brexit.

The infamous imbalance in favour of Remainer guests on shows like Question Time, the Today Program on Radio 4, or Newsnight has been a problem throughout and beyond the referendum.

The BBC along with Sky and ITV also coined the phrase “despite Brexit” for any success the UK enjoyed with the assumption that Brexit is an obstacle rather than a reason for positive things in the country.

But worst of all is the sometimes naked hostility to Brexit for some of its most well-known, well-paid presenters with the likes of Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis becoming even more brazen once they were free of the Corporation.

The chief villain though is Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker, the most well-paid presenter on the BBC, using his platform for anti-Brexit statements on Twitter along with various other causes on the left of politics.

7. Russia allegations

The idea that Brexit was the result of a Russia-based conspiracy rather than the majority of British voters deciding they had had enough of the EU still lingers among the political and business elites.

It essentially has its origins in the idea that the Remainers could not understand why their economic arguments and Project Fear approach to the referendum had been rejected at the ballot box.

The two prevailing theories were people in the UK were “stupid and racist”, and that Russia had tricked everyone with the help of people like Nigel Farage, Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore.

Strangely enough, the same explanation was used by US Democrats to explain the victory of Donald Trump in 2016.

Neither were true but the conspiracy was fueled by articles in the Guardian in which Banks and Wigmore had to resort to the courts to clear their names.

Meanwhile, Labour Remainer MP Sir Christopher Bryant used Parliamentary privilege to claim that Farage had received £500,000 from Russia.

He did that in the Commons because he did not have to provide evidence of the claim and would be protected from being sued but we now know that the unsubstantiated allegation was also used as a reason to cancel Farage’s Coutt’s bank account.

8. The Whitehall ‘blob’

The mirkiest of all goings-on regarding the establishment hitting back against Brexiteers have been in the corridors of Whitehall.

It is fair to say that the vote in favour of Leave did not go down well among civil servants with reports of members of the “blob” in floods of tears in the days after.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Treasury were perhaps particularly afflicted with grief.

But there has been some evidence of a trail of revenge against Brexiteers.

We only have to look at the ministers targeted by civil servants with bullying and other allegations – Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Suella Braverman and Boris Johnson, all Brexiteers.

There has been suspicion for a long time that the Treasury in particular was trying to block Brexit opportunities.

But there could be even darker forces at work. A case of a pro-Brexit former civil servant who is suing the Government for damages threatens to lift the lid on a culture of Brexit bias at best and persecution at worst.

The civil servant was dragged from his bed by 14 counter-terrorism police officers where he was recovering from cancer surgery after being allegedly framed for leaking embarrassing details about how former UK ambassador to the US Lord Darroch allegedly gave away top secrets for sex with a CNN journalist.

The government is doing its best to use counter-terror legislation to keep the proceedings behind closed doors but evidence seen by Express.co.uk has suggested that pro-Brexit civil servants were targeted by senior people in Whitehall and barred from promotion.

In contrast to the former civil servant suing the government, Darroch, a Remainer who clashed with Trump, was given a peerage and has been protected.

9. Partygate versus Beergate

Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were fined for being offered a slice of cake minutes before a meeting in the cabinet room on Mr Johnson’s birthday.

They did not even eat the cake.

But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, his deputy Angela Rayner and 15 other Labour activists had a beer and curry party in Durham and were not fined for breaking lockdown rules.

This was despite Labour first claiming Rayner was not there and Starmer changing the number of people present three times going from six to 17.

So why a fine for one and not the other?

One suggestion is that the police forces of Durham Constabulary and the Metropolitan Police applied the rules differently.

Durham Constabulary said: “We do not believe an offence has been established in relation to the legislation and guidance in place at that time and will therefore take no further action in relation to this matter.”

Some see it as a Conservative versus Labour issue, but others still have pointed out that Starmer was a leading Remainer and Boris Johnson was the face of Vote Leave. This takes us to the final issue.

10. Parliament’s Standards and Privileges

When Boris Johnson announced his resignation as an MP ahead of the Privileges Committee recommending a vindictive 90-day suspension for allegedly lying to Parliament, the former Prime Minister voiced many Brexiteer concerns in his statement.

He said: “I am not alone in thinking that there is a witch hunt under way, to take revenge for Brexit and ultimately to reverse the 2016 referendum result. 

“My removal is the necessary first step, and I believe there has been a concerted attempt to bring it about.”

In many ways, it sums up the allegations made around the other nine issues in this article as well as others we have not covered including tax investigations of leading Leave supporters.

But ever since former Speaker John Bercow gave latitude to Remainers in the Commons to try to thwart Brexit there has been a strong sense that the Parliamentary procedures have been “weaponised” against Brexiteers and Leaving the EU.

Some have asked why Bryant has not been asked to explain his allegations about Russian money to Farage before the committee which he normally chairs.

But there were other examples as well.

One particularly blatant one was the failure to declare interests properly.

Former Tory “Brexit spartan” MP Andrew Bridgen, now of the Reclaim Party, received a two-day suspension after being referred to the Standards Committee for failing to mention in eight emails that he had received a trip to Ghana even though it was in his Register of Interests.

Yet the same Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone did not even bother to refer Sir Keir Starmer or fellow Labour Remainer David Lammy for failing to mention significant pecuniary interests in their Register of Interests at all.

The treatment of the cases did not seem equal, although that did not help Bridgen in his appeal.

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