ARRON Banks has insisted that there was "no Russian money and no interference" in the Leave campaign he supported after a probe was launched into suspected criminal offences over millions of pounds of campaign funding during the Brexit referendum.

The controversial business figure, now the subject of a National Crime Agency probe into the source of payments worth £8 million, insisted all the money was legitimate and came from his UK-registered firm, Rock Services.

And in an outspoken intervention Mr Banks:

*hit out at the elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, which he accused of being a biased body made up of ex-MPs from the SNP and Labour, claiming it was “politically motivated”;

*accused the Conservative Government of “disgraceful behaviour” in a “sell-out” of Brexit;

*described British politics as a “sewer,” denouncing a group of “vicious MPs” for seeking to undermine the referendum result

*and even suggested it would probably have been better if Britain had voted to Remain in the EU and “not unleash these demons”.

The investigation by the National Crime Agency was launched after the Commission said it had reasonable grounds to suspect Mr Banks was not the true source of the cash.

But the controversial businessman told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: "There was no Russian money and no interference of any type. I want to be absolutely clear about that.

"The money came from Rock Services which was a UK limited company, it was generated out of insurance business written in the UK.

"Contrary to some of the press reports in the FT and other Remain-leaning publications, we insure nearly half a million customers a year; the size of Manchester. We turn over £250 million of premiums, it's a sizeable business," he declared.

Co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign, Mr Banks said Rock Services had "all sorts of revenues" but did not detail them.

He explained: "We insure half a million people. I know it's complex for journalists to understand but we know what this is about; it's about undermining Article 50 and the Brexit result.

"It's a group of vicious MPs who have grouped together with the Guardian and the FT."

Mr Banks responded to the front page of this morning’s Observer, which claimed staff at his Eldon Insurance business in Bristol had worked for Leave.EU from its offices. The newspaper cited emails leaked to it by whistleblowers.

But Mr Banks told Marr: "I can say that was reported to the Electoral Commission and people who did work for Eldon were transferred over on short-term contracts legally and it was reported through the Electoral Commission in the right way.

"You are talking about emails that were stolen from us," he insisted.

In a typically blunt performance, Mr Banks was asked why he wrote to constituents of Damian Collins, who chairs the Commonss Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, calling him a "snake in the grass". Mr Banks replied: "Well, he is."

The 52-year-old businessman was asked about a report in the Sunday Times that he would back Remain if the 2016 referendum were re-run.

He replied: "What I said was that the corruption I have seen in British politics, the sewer that exists and the disgraceful behaviour of the Government over what they are doing with Brexit and how they are selling out, means that if I had my time again I think we would have been better to probably remain and not unleash these demons."