We only talked to Arron Banks to get a car insurance quote, insists Kremlin

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As revelations surfaced yesterday of several meetings between Leave.EU bankroller Arron Banks and several Russian diplomats, Moscow has denied trying to manipulate the British democratic process and maintained that they only wanted a quote for a 2012 Lada Vesta.

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Semyon Viliamov, explained to journalists that the Russian President had instructed his Foreign Office to find out how much a basic third party, fire and theft cover would set him back.

“We had no interest in influencing your Brexit to ensure our Western borders are safe from overly powerful Europeans who have always coveted Russia’s great resources. All we wanted to know is if we can get a discount if we install a dashcam. Why else would we meet with an arrogant xenophobe who has a history of channelling shady money into fringe political groups?”

Mr Viliamov explained that cultural differences could be the reason the British press had misinterpreted the connections between Arron Banks and the Putin residency.

“We Russians do not like call centres. We like face to face meetings. So when President Putin wants to get insurance for a cheap family car he sends someone to talk to the people that matter and sometimes invites those people to look at geological reports on gold mines.”

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The Kremlin insisted the subsequent meetings were held at the behest of diplomats, not the Russian government.

“They all wanted to talk to him. He has a head like a squished penis. It’s very funny especially if someone plays the balalaika in the background.”