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SNP MEP threatened with legal action by Brexit Party chairman over TV claims

Lawyers for Richard Tice say they will bring High Court proceedings against Alyn Smith if he fails to apologise for comments made on Sky News.

Alyn Smith was elected as one of three SNP MEPs after Thursday’s vote (Jane Barlow/PA)
Alyn Smith was elected as one of three SNP MEPs after Thursday’s vote (Jane Barlow/PA)

An SNP MEP has been threatened with legal action by the chairman of The Brexit Party over comments made on television suggesting they are “a shell company that’s money laundering”.

Alyn Smith was speaking on Sky News on Monday during coverage following last week’s European Parliament election where both he and Richard Tice were elected to Brussels.

During the interview, Mr Smith called the party “shysters”, “feckless” and questioned the source of their campaign finances.

The letter contains a transcript of the interview, which has since been shared on social media and “viewed over 27,000 times by the time this letter was being drafted”.

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Lawyers sent the letter to Alyn Smith on behalf of Richard Tice (Brexit Party/PA)

Mr Smith said: “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.”

In response to the claims, the letter from Wedlake Bell states: “Your allegation is categorically denied: the Brexit Party has not acted as a money laundering front and Mr Tice has no involvement in money laundering or any other law breaking.

“Mr Tice is deeply affronted by the accusations you have made against him and The Brexit Party.

“Clearly your political viewpoint is different from his, but that can be no excuse for making such a very serious and totally unfounded charge of criminality against our client.”

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Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice (Joe Giddens/PA)

The letter then offers “the following opportunity to set the record straight” with a statement given for Mr Smyth to make retracting his original comments.

It also sets a deadline of noon on Thursday for the statement to be made, with the letter adding “our client will consider his options for further action”.

Commenting after responding to the firm, referring them to Goldsmith and Another v. Bhoyrul and Others [1998] QB 459, 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.”

PA

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