THE millionaire who bankrolled the Brexit campaign is to be quizzed on his newly revealed links to Russia by MPs investigating Kremlin interference in the vote.

Businessman Arron Banks, the founder of the Leave. EU group, is due to give evidence to the Commons inquiry into ‘fake news’ this week.

After initially refusing, he has now agreed but says he is the victim of a “witch hunt”.

In his book, The Bad Boys of Brexit, Mr Banks admitted a single meeting with the Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, in September 2015.

However the Sunday Times and Observer reported an email trail revealing further meetings between the two men and Leave.EU spokesman Andy Wigmore.

At one meeting, in November 2015, the day after the Leave.EU launch, the ambassador introduced Mr Banks and Mr Wigmore to a Russian businessman who offered a potentially highly lucrative business deal involving six Russian goldmines.

Mr Banks also visited Moscow in February 2016, during the referendum campaign.

And in November 2016, three days after Mr Banks and Mr Wigmore met President-elect Donald Trump in New York, they had a lunch with the ambassador.

Mr Banks told the Sunday Times he also handed over phone numbers for members of Mr Trump’s transition team to Russian officials.

Damian Collins, chair of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, said the discovery of the links was “big news” and very relevant to his 'fake news’ inquiry.

He told BBC Sunday Politics that the public had a “right to know” the nature of the contacts.

He said: “We want to understand more to what extent Mr Banks profited from his relationship with the Russian embassy. Did he make money out of it?

“Did he use that money to fund campaigns? If he didn't then that's fine but given the prominent role he played we've got the right to ask these questions."

Mr Banks, who gave £12m in donations to Ukip and the Leave side, told the Sunday Times: “I had two boozy lunches with the Russian ambassador and another cup of tea with him. Bite me. It’s a convenient political witch-hunt, both over Brexit and Trump.”

He later joked to Reuters that he was “still waiting for the cheque” from Moscow.

He said: "This is just complete, absolute garbage - it is like the Salem witch hunt. They just keep on screaming 'witch', 'witch'. They are trying to discredit everyone involved in Brexit."

Mr Wigmore said Leave.EU never offered any campaign information to any Russian.

The extent of the links with Russia was revealed in a cache of 40,000 emails shared by Mr Banks and Mr Wigmore with the journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who ghost-wrote The Bad Boys of Brexit.

She said the two men had been “shamelessly used by the Russians”, but that did not invalidate the judgment of the 17.4m people who voted to leave the EU.

Leave.EU was last month fined £70,000 for breaching election law in the EU referendum.

The Electoral Commission said the group, which was separate from the official Vote Leave campaign, failed to report at least £77,380 of its spending.

It has also referred Leave.EU chief executive Liz Bilney to the police.

Mr Banks called it a "politically motivated attack".