An investigation into ex-MP Matthew Gordon-Banks’ numerous claims surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in apparent threats.

This incident arose from the investigation of a series of claims that Gordon-Banks had made over social media.

First off, a disclaimer, to ensure utmost accuracy and objectivity, our investigation into the claims made by Mr. Gordon-Banks followed a rigorous multi-step process. Firstly, each of his statements was collated, catalogued, and cross-referenced with credible sources from both international and local news outlets, and expert commentaries. We reached out to experts in geopolitics, defence, and regional affairs for their insights to give context and weigh the legitimacy of the claims.

Additionally, an open invitation for clarification was extended to Mr. Gordon-Banks, providing an opportunity for him to furnish evidence or elucidate his assertions. This was refused, with Gordon-Banks posting a vague tweet instead.

Through these layers of verification, we aimed to sift fact from fiction, providing our readers with a comprehensive, balanced view of the matter at hand. Our team conferred with various Open Source Intelligence analysts regarding the claims made by Mr. Gordon-Banks. The consensus was clear and consistent across the board.

Background on Gordon-Banks

Matthew Gordon-Banks served as the Conservative MP for Southport from 1992 to 1997. Later, he joined the Liberal Democrats in 2004. With a diverse background, having served in the army, held roles in Barclays Bank, advised on Middle-East affairs, and earned an MBA, he has switched political parties and held various advisory roles over the years. He has been commenting on Russian affairs since 1984.

Gordon-Banks has previously faced suspension from the Lib Dems over a controversial tweet in 2016. Moreover, he was jailed for a driving incident in 2017.

Below are some of his most repeated and recent claims.

Missiles from NATO Member Romania

Gordon-Banks claimed that missiles were being fired from NATO member Romania against Russian targets. No evidence has been provided to support this claim.

The roots of such claims can be traced back to 2022 when short video clips began circulating on social media platforms. These clips were purportedly showcasing actual combat footage from the conflict in Ukraine. However, a deeper dive into the authenticity of these videos revealed that many were, in fact, extracted from video games.

One particular instance from May 28, 2022, was shared widely on Twitter. The tweet, which can be found at this link, claimed:

“Nato sent their jet fighters & Helicopters to help Ukraine. As soon as they entered the border, they were attacked by the Russian missiles. Not a single one escaped. Only the Chinese media reported that news.”

Upon investigation, it was determined that the footage was not genuine combat footage but rather from a military combat simulation game called ArmA 3. These simulations, often shared by players on platforms like YouTube, are sometimes misappropriated for propagandistic purposes. For reference, the original video from which the tweeted footage was extracted can be viewed on YouTube, uploaded by the account Tactical Sim, available here.

An expert, wishing to remain anonymous, told us:

One must ask oneself about the thoroughness and authenticity of the research upon which he’s basing these statements. His assertion concerning missiles being launched from Romania, for instance, finds no support from independent international observers or defence specialists. It’s a far cry from NATO’s consistently defensive stance in Eastern Europe.”

When I contacted Gordon-Banks about the claim, he said:

“Currently, currently, what I have said is not being publicly acknowledged by either the US or Russia. The US, has concerns about Polish & Lithuanian pressure. Russia wishes to avoid further domestic and military pressure to increase the tempo of its military action.

My comments about British direct ‘on the ground & air’ involvement in Ukraine, authorised in a manner where Parliament cannot have oversight, even if it was sitting, is unassailable. The Journal is at its best when highlighting Defence Equipment & training. 

Are you going to tell your Followers that hundreds of British service and other personnel and other NATO personnel are not directly involved ‘other ground/air’ in the conflict in Ukraine? Of course you are not. End.”

Invulnerable Russian Missiles

The former MP propagated myths about invulnerable Russian missiles and stated that “the Russian offensive awaits” over a year after the invasion. No evidence supports this statement.

The origin for this claim is the perception of Russian technological dominance in missile technology, particularly their hypersonic weaponry, has been a cause for concern in various circles. However, real-world incidents cast doubt on these perceptions.

On 4 May 2023, Ukraine employed a U.S.-supplied Patriot battery to intercept a Russian Kinzhal missile. This weapon was championed by Russian President Vladimir Putin as a hypersonic marvel that could bypass any existing air defence systems, a claim still repeated today. In the wake of this event, Russia’s state news agency tried to refute the report, suggesting the shootdown was a fabrication.

Yet, merely 12 days on, Ukraine successfully intercepted six additional Kinzhals during an assault on Kyiv. These occurrences, confirmed by U.S. government sources, prompt significant questions about these so-called advanced missile systems’ true capabilities.

Another fallacy surrounding hypersonic weapons is their perceived invincibility. While it’s accurate that they can are more challenging targets for current missile defence systems, they aren’t unbeatable.. Existing defence mechanisms, like the U.S. Aegis sea-based terminal defence system, already showcase capabilities to challenge hypersonics.

Our expert said The idea of ‘invulnerable’ Russian missiles is a bold claim but not accurate. There’s no missile technology today that is entirely immune to countermeasures, jamming, or interception. To suggest otherwise might be an endeavour to exaggerate capabilities—a strategy more in line with psychological warfare than genuine assessment.”

Secret American Bio-labs

Another assertion made was in reference to ‘secret bio-labs’, However, no evidence supports this claim. To justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Gordon-Banks claimed the attack focused on secret U.S. Biolabs. No evidence supports this statement.

And another.

The claim surrounding U.S. biolabs in Ukraine has been in circulation long before the recent geopolitical developments. From early 2018, Russian propagandists have been pushing this narrative, trying to lend credence to the idea that the U.S. operates secret biolabs in the region. By February 2022, with Russia’s aggression in Ukraine escalating, this narrative took on a more pronounced role. The hashtag #USBiolabs started trending on Twitter, giving voice to this piece of disinformation and asserting that Russia’s actions were in response to these supposed biolabs.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) refuted these allegations back in May 2020, stressing that no foreign military biological labs operate within the country. Such assertions were deemed as “deliberate distortions of the facts.”

Adding to the confusion, a Twitter post from @WarClandestine in February 2022 made a comparative analysis of two maps – one displaying the sites of Russia’s missile attacks and another showcasing the alleged locations of U.S. biolabs in Ukraine. However, a closer inspection of these maps revealed several discrepancies. The missile map depicted several sites which didn’t align with the so-called biolab locations, while the biolab map had locations that weren’t in line with missile strikes. Furthermore, the act of superimposing maps is a time-old technique to exaggerate connections, often used to propel conspiracy theories.

Tracing back the roots of this theory reveals that while there exists a tenuous link between the U.S. and Ukrainian biolabs, it’s far from the picture that propagandists paint. The Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the U.S. Department of Defense did indeed sign an agreement in 2005. But rather than being a clandestine operation, this agreement’s objective was to “curtail the threat of bio-terrorism” by safeguarding pathogens left behind from the Soviet-era biological weapons initiative. While the U.S. did provide some funding to modernise biolabs in Ukraine, the operation and governance of these labs lie squarely under Ukrainian jurisdiction, adhering to Ukrainian laws.

The Kyiv Post also reported that various state laboratories in areas such as Odesa, Kharkiv, and Kyiv were modernised under this agreement, but they are fully funded by the state and remain under the purview of the Ministry of Health. Importantly, no evidence indicates that these labs were “installed” by the U.S. military or operated by U.S. forces.

The assertion that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was driven by the existence of covert U.S. biolabs is misleading and unfounded. While there’s a collaborative effort between Ukraine and the U.S. dating back to 2005 to counter bio-terrorism threats, the labs in question are Ukrainian-operated and adhere to national regulations. Such claims, without credible evidence, seem to be an extension of a prolonged disinformation campaign, potentially aiming to justify or obfuscate the true motives behind geopolitical actions.

Ukraine’s Population being cut in half

Gordon-Banks has repeatedly suggested that the population of Ukraine had fallen by around 50%. This assertion lacks any supporting evidence. Gordon-Banks often makes repeated statements about a significant population drop in Ukraine without concrete evidence. This trend suggests he’s either uninformed or possibly drawing from biased sources.

Gordon-Banks’ numbers fluctuate when he makes these claims. At various times, he mentions the population dropping from 35 million to 20 million, from 37 million to 20 million, and from 37 million to 19 million. Such inconsistencies cast doubt on his sources’ reliability.

He also frequently cites nebulous authority figures such as “well placed Americans” or a singular “US Official” to substantiate his claims. Such vague references, without detailed credentials or specifics, don’t offer much weight to his assertions. Further, the change in references (from one authority figure to another) raises more eyebrows. After probing some more for the source of the claims, banks seemed to cite Douglas Macgregor as the origin for his claims. However, it should be noted that Macgregor doesn’t make the same drastic estimates that Gordon-Banks does.

So, it would appear that this is the “U.S. official” Matthew was referring to. Macgregor’s stance on the Ukrainian situation has been contentious, however. Some of his predictions concerning the Ukraine-Russia conflict have been found to be inaccurate, with even some of his colleagues at Fox News challenging his views.

Gordon-Banks’ decision to cite Macgregor as a source for population figures is tenuous since Macgregor appears not to have made the same specific claim about the population. This misattribution further diminishes Gordon-Banks’ credibility on this topic.

Macgregor’s views, which paint Ukrainian action in a negative light and hint at Russia’s actions being overly restrained, have been selectively aired by Russian state television channels. This selective representation raises questions about whether Macgregor’s perspectives are being used for propaganda purposes.

Gordon-Banks also suggested that The Washington Post, supported his claim that the population in Ukraine has fallen by 50% or more since the war started. They do not. It’s important to note that while errors in communication can happen, attributions to renowned publications should always be accurate and verifiable.

The claims made by Matthew Gordon-Banks, given the lack of consistent evidence and reliance on disputed figures, seem to lean more towards speculation or bias than factual reporting. While the reasons behind his assertions remain an enigma, it emphatically demonstrates the importance of verifying information before dissemination, especially for public figures.

In the course of my role as the Editor of the UK Defence Journal, I’ve found that the pursuit of truth sometimes comes with unexpected challenges. Recently, while investigating claims made by former MP, Matthew Gordon-Banks, I’ve faced a series of aggressive responses that shed light on the broader issues journalists sometimes grapple with.

The Threats

My online interactions with Gordon-Banks over the last year or so when investigating and asking for clarification on Twitter surrounding this topic have repeatedly seemed to have caught the anger of Gordon-Banks. One response was startlingly direct: “George Allison, I will deal with you both personally and physically when I am ready… Now shove your head in the dog’s box & be quiet.”

Adding to the unease, more recently, when discussing this threat, Gordon-Banks dropped a hint about coming to Cambuslang, where I reside, saying he was travelling to Glasgow Airport and then remarking, “Oh, I’m on my way to Cambuslang as we type”, he also made mention on another tweet of bringing “others” to the area, although it is unclear if this was related. He did not arrive.

Being on the receiving end of such threats, particularly in the context of my journalistic work, is a sobering experience, and it’s happened before. Trying to ascertain the distinction between genuine information and misinformation (accidental or intentional) is increasingly crucial. But navigating this landscape, as this situation has shown, isn’t always straightforward.

As the Editor of the UK Defence Journal, I’ve always aimed to keep our readers informed with accurate and unbiased content. My recent deep dive into the statements of Mr. Gordon-Banks was in line with this commitment. It’s disheartening to encounter threats in response to genuine journalistic inquiries. It’s a stark reminder of the real-world implications our online interactions can have. Regardless, I remain committed to objective reporting, undeterred by these challenges.

Upon highlighting the concerns stemming from his tweets and once more asking for a comment to try and make sense of his actions, Gordon-Banks’ retorted that I was “seeking abuse”. His motivations and the implications of this remark are up for interpretation.

When prompted further for clarity on his initial remarks, he responded cryptically:

“1. Zero to defence. 2. You have a massive abuse.”

I’m still trying to make sense of this tweet, especially after he ‘liked it’ himself after posting it.

An expert on the spread of narratives online, again wishing to remain anonymous, told me:

What strikes me most is the striking resemblance between many of Mr. Gordon-Banks’ claims and the rhetoric often disseminated by particular Russian military bloggers. This leads to a pressing question: Is Mr. Gordon-Banks merely parroting these sources without proper scrutiny? From a former Member of Parliament, one would anticipate a more rigorous approach to such grave matters, ensuring that claims are both accurate and impartial. The regurgitation of unchecked claims, which seem to mirror a specific narrative, accentuates the value of rigorous, independent research.”

Closing Analysis: Deciphering Gordon-Banks’ Narratives

Our investigation into the claims made by former MP Matthew Gordon-Banks regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine has revealed several contentious points. He asserted that attacks are being launched from NATO member Romania against Russia, that Russian missiles are beyond counteraction, that clandestine U.S. bio-laboratories in Ukraine validate Russia’s aggression, and he also presented an uncorroborated statistic suggesting a staggering 50% decline in Ukraine’s populace since the conflict started.

These statements, however, have been methodically discredited by authoritative sources and seasoned analysts. Moreover, the evidence Gordon-Banks frequently cites often contradicts or fails to validate his pronouncements, which gravely undermines their credibility.

As we look into the reasons behind Gordon-Banks’ claims, several factors come to light. His digital interactions highlight his strong beliefs, and a discernible pattern emerges wherein many of his views, in my opinion, seem to be simply echoed from accounts he frequently interacts with on Twitter. Some of these views distinctly align with narratives propagated by specific Russian military bloggers.

However, it’s worth noting that correlations do not necessarily imply causation. As our investigation concludes, while the origin and drive behind his assertions are not entirely clear, it underscores the importance of critically assessing information, particularly when presented by influential figures.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon (@guest_746487)
10 months ago

As I understand the law his comments warrant talking to the Police and I hope you will.

Very sorry you are receiving this treatment.

LongTime
LongTime (@guest_746626)
10 months ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

You’re on to something there it would seem to fall in the “misuse of electronic communication” framework

Tim
Tim (@guest_757675)
8 months ago
Reply to  ChrisLondon

In Belgium it would warrant a visit from the police to said former MP

spike
spike (@guest_746488)
10 months ago

easy to see why he is an ex-MP!

i hope this doesn’t faze you George!

your site and the knowledge you & your team impart. and the additional knowledge & contributions which the regular commentators make stands the test of time!

Bulkhead
Bulkhead (@guest_746490)
10 months ago

He didnae know how tuff you lads are fae Cambuslang. Chin up George, and keep up the fine work you 😎

Maz
Maz (@guest_746491)
10 months ago

Why the F should he substantiate anything? Who the F are you to ask him to substantiate anything? He has the right to say whatever he likes! Isn’t that part of the Freedom of Expression! He hasn’t hurt anyone, has he… except your fragile Jewish ego???!!!

Smickers
Smickers (@guest_746506)
10 months ago
Reply to  George Allison

Very good reply to a nasty racist mail

Python15
Python15 (@guest_746567)
10 months ago
Reply to  George Allison

What a bellend!

Python15
Python15 (@guest_746568)
10 months ago
Reply to  Python15

Oops, should have been to Maz, apologies George!

Phil Doherty
Phil Doherty (@guest_746620)
10 months ago
Reply to  George Allison

Wow – what a nasty piece of work you are Maz! What has being Jewish (or not) have to do with facts! As a fellow journo George all I can say is I highly praise your work, your tenacity and your accuracy. You’re a true star George – please keep up all your hard work.

DH
DH (@guest_746679)
10 months ago
Reply to  George Allison

⭐👍👌 TVM George.

Shaun
Shaun (@guest_747104)
9 months ago
Reply to  George Allison

Hear, hear!

farouk
farouk (@guest_746504)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

Ok, who uttered “Beatle juice” three times?
 
So, jokes aside, I do wonder who would become so angry so soon over the above post. the only person I can think of, is the subject of an earlier article where a former MP was exposed as sniffing around younger blokes. I mean who else would go out of their way to defend such a perv.

Last edited 10 months ago by farouk
farouk
farouk (@guest_746512)
10 months ago
Reply to  farouk
Nat
Nat (@guest_746520)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

Looks like Mr Gordon-Banks is now going by the name ‘Maz’ lol.
Keep up the good work George, those of us operating in the Defence community appreciate the hard work and detailed reports you and the Journal produces. I’m sure this little attention seeker won’t hold you up

Paul
Paul (@guest_746521)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

Wow any point you may have had was lost when you went full racist.

Ian M.
Ian M. (@guest_746526)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

OK Matthew, come clean. That comment is a bit of an “own goal”!

Chris.
Chris. (@guest_746532)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

Who shot the cucumber up your arse?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_746534)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

Hahahaha. Why don’t we all just tell any old nonsense we like all time. Who needs facts.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_746586)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

Communication skills not your forte I see!

Matt
Matt (@guest_746593)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

Leaving aside your racist sentiments, why do you have a problem with fairly mild investigative journalism?

Laurence
Laurence (@guest_746698)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

WTF You access to this site should be terminated immediately. How dare you make remarks like this to a well respected commentator.

Mick
Mick (@guest_746764)
10 months ago
Reply to  Maz

Get back under your stone you pathetic little muppet,

Ian
Ian (@guest_747921)
9 months ago
Reply to  Maz

So, maz, let me follow your line of reasoning here. Gordon-Banks is entitled to express his opinion, but George should just keep his mouth shut? Fascinating interpretation of freedom of speech you have.

Knight7572
Knight7572 (@guest_746495)
10 months ago

No weapons platform is unstoppable as look at mighty battleship Yamato

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_746511)
10 months ago

I heard that NAFO are showing an interest and may let loose the dogs on him. He should standby for a severe bonking on the social media front.

Matt
Matt (@guest_746594)
10 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Er .. woof.

Luke Rogers
Luke Rogers (@guest_746517)
10 months ago

I have been and remain very sceptical of NATOs motives in Ukraine and of the narratives surrounding this war. What I don’t get is why is this fella SO invested in it? I’m not kept up at night worrying about hypersonic flight profiles or western ammunition production levels. To be that obsessed over what is honestly a bit of a damp squib of a war, he’s either gaining financially or his cheese has slid off his cracker.

Malcolm Rich
Malcolm Rich (@guest_746578)
10 months ago
Reply to  Luke Rogers

“Cheese has slid off his cracker”, that’s a new one to add to the list of “one can short of a six pack” 😂

DH
DH (@guest_746677)
10 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Rich

One wave short of a shipwreck.🙃

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_746535)
10 months ago

After thorough analysis I’ve decided not to follow this guy on Twitter😂😂😂😂😂

ClaymationDinosaursEcho
ClaymationDinosaursEcho (@guest_746540)
10 months ago

62 years old. History of lots of unsavoury things. History of alcohol abuse to the scale of drink-driving, fraud, driving illegally, crashes, jail time etc [1] [2]. History of trying to pick up young men via the internet, and getting nasty when they turn him down; threats that turn out to be bluster, so that’s reassuring at least [3] If he was a bit older I’d wonder about some kind of degenerative mental condition. I’m definitely wondering about it anyway, what with the alcohol abuse. If he hadn’t been an MP, he’d just be a loudmouth on Twitter. Even giving… Read more »

John Hampson
John Hampson (@guest_746555)
10 months ago

IN addition, see the following article in the Liverpool Echo, 10th Sept 2015, titled :-
“Ex-Southport MP Matthew Gordon Banks arrested over Oliver Letwin advisor claims”

The article opens, “FORMER Southport MP Mathew Gordon Banks was arrested after allegedly posing as an “advisor” to government minister Oliver Letwin.”

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/ex-southport-mp-matthew-gordon-3360228

Hiding in plain sight?

Jack
Jack (@guest_746560)
10 months ago

What a Bozo ! 😂 Anyone that gets their “objective facts” from Doug McGregor is a 🤡

Expat Alien
Expat Alien (@guest_746561)
10 months ago

Keep up the good work George

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus (@guest_746566)
10 months ago

So Gordon – Banks is actually JohninMK!!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_746579)
10 months ago

What an interesting article.

I think the most powerful thing for George and UKDJ is publicity, and as much as possible. Any threats should be highlighted, amplified and shown to the world.

Thank you for the investigation.

Airborne
Airborne (@guest_746585)
10 months ago

Shit the bed what a muppet! A sad, lonely, no mates, no career no mark who is earning a few quid from RT and other pro Nazi Russian outlets! He needs to keep his nonsense to himself and consider his previous (and probably ongoing) behaviour with younger males! Throbber!

Matt
Matt (@guest_746591)
10 months ago

Good piece.

Remembering that former MPs usually have access to the Palace of Westminster Estate for life – remember how this was removed from John Bercow as a result of the bullying investigation? – it may be worth an email to the Commons’ authorities.

Mickey
Mickey (@guest_746596)
10 months ago

Good job George!!!

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_746633)
10 months ago

I think Mr Banks needs to be reminded this is a free country & threats of violence to silence those you disagree with belong in Stalinist/Putin’s Russia or Xi’s PRC. They are illegal here. I’d like to think MPs are far better informed & mannerd, but after Boris & Truss we really do seem to have the blind leading the blind & wolves in sheeps clothing.

Matt
Matt (@guest_746917)
9 months ago

Sorry to hear you are getting this, George.

Ultimately, Mons. Banks needs to be referred to Arkell vs Pressdram.

Shaun
Shaun (@guest_747108)
9 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Thanks, for some reason I had never cone across that one. Nice one!

lonpfrb
lonpfrb (@guest_747195)
9 months ago
Reply to  Shaun

Pressdram aka Private Eye so no respecter of establishment corruption but pioneers of Freedom of the Press..

Long term critics of press Barrons Rupert Murdoch and Robert Maxwell, those well known paragons of virtue and probity…

Last edited 9 months ago by lonpfrb