Andy Wigmore


Andrew Bruce Wigmore (born 1 June 1966) is a British-Belizean political activist, former diplomat and sportsman. He is known for his work on the Leave.EU campaign during the UK's 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union, being a prominent associate of Arron Banks and Nigel Farage, and representing Belize in competitive trap shooting in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.[1]

Andy Wigmore
Born (1966-06-01) 1 June 1966 (age 55)
Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England
CitizenshipBelize, United Kingdom
EducationSacred Heart College, Droitwich
TitleHonourable, Senior Justice of the Peace of Belize
Term2012–present
Political partyBrexit Party
Spouse(s)Cath Wigmore
Children2

Life


Andrew Wigmore was born on 1 June 1966 in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.[2] Wigmore is half-Belizean,[3] and holds dual citizenship of Belize and the United Kingdom.[4] He attended the Sacred Heart College in Droitwich in Worcestershire.

Andrew Wigmore told (June 2018) : "My dad worked in Berlin during the Cold War in a place called the Berlin Air Safety Centre, which was an organisation that looks after the air corridors. They worked with the Soviets 24/7. My dad interacted with the Soviets. I grew up in that environment in Berlin. I met many of the Soviets ; I was fascinated by everything that went on in Berlin during the Cold War (...) my Dad dragged me out of bed at some ungodly hour to go and watch a piece of history, which was the last spy swap at Glienicke Bridge".[5]

He has worked in communications mainly privately until 2016 when he was director of communications for Arron Banks' Leave.EU campaign.[1][6]

He also held a role as a Trade, Commercial and Press Attaché at the Belize High Commission in London, a diplomatic position bound by the Vienna Convention. Following Wigmore's highly publicised meeting with then President-elect of the United States Donald Trump complaints arose regarding Wigmore forgoing his "duty not to interfere in the internal affairs [of another country]" as an accredited diplomat. Wigmore's role with the Belizean High commission ended on 23 January 2017.[7] In January 2018, Wigmore was stopped by police in the UK for driving without insurance, using illegal diplomatic number plates, and an expired diplomatic ID. Police seized the number plates and documents, but Wigmore was not prosecuted.[8]

From September 2015, Wigmore, along with Arron Banks, had multiple meetings with Russian officials posted at the Russian embassy in London. The first contact was with Russian diplomat and suspected spy Alexander Udod, in order to ask for a meeting with Russia's ambassador to Britain Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko.[9]

Wigmore and his family were part of a large group of British tourists who broke quarantine rules of self-isolation in Switzerland. [10][11][failed verification]

Controversy

Wigmore has attracted controversy over his involvement in the Leave.EU campaign. In 2018, he was accused by Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Chair Damian Collins of misleading Parliament over the nature of his relationship with officials at the Russian embassy.[12] A 2021 UNESCO report concerning online violence against women alleges that Wigmore sent abusive messages online to journalist Carole Cadwalladr, for which he was subsequently suspended from Twitter.[13]

Shooting


Wigmore represented Belize at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in trap shooting. He competed in the men's trap event ranking 31st and 36th respectively on the first and second day of qualification. He failed to qualify any further.[2] He also attempted to represent Belize again at the Rio Olympics but failed to qualify.[1]

Personal life


Wigmore is married and has two children.[4]

See also


References


  1. "Five key Brexiteers have paid a visit to the President-Elect in Trump Tower". The Independent. 14 November 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  2. "Andrew Wigmore". 2014 Commonwealth Games. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  3. "Londoner's Diary: Sugar coating for Belizeans' own Brexiteer". London Evening Standard. 18 August 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  4. "Meritorious Service Award: Andrew Wigmore" (PDF). Belizean Capital Weekly. 22 September 2013. p. 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 September 2015.
  5. "Oral evidence - Fake news - 12 Jun 2018 (see Q3754)". 2018 data.parliament.uk. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
  6. "Andrew Bruce WIGMORE - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  7. "Leave crusader loses Belize envoy job after Johnson intervention". The Times. Retrieved 21 April 2017.
  8. Smith, Adam (26 January 2018). "Brexit campaign boss pulled over by police after 'posing as Belize diplomat'". Metro. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  9. David D. Kirkpatrick; Matthew Rosenberg (29 June 2018). "Russians Offered Business Deals to Brexit's Biggest Backer". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 June 2018.
  10. Britischer Tourist prahlt mit Flucht vor Schweizer Corona-Quarantäne
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/27/hundreds-uk-tourists-flee-covid-quarantine-swiss-ski-resort-verbier
  12. Cadwalladr, Carole; Jukes, Peter (16 June 2018). "Leave.EU faces new questions over contacts with Russia". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  13. Posetti, Julia; Shabbir, Nabeelah; Maynard, Diana; Bontcheva, Kalina; Aboulez, Nermine (29 April 2021). "The Chilling: Global trends in online violence against women journalists" (PDF). UNESCO Research Discussion Paper. Retrieved 30 April 2021.