The man at the centre of the Cambridge Analytica scandal has been banned from being a company director for seven years.

Alexander Nix has been banned by the Insolvency Service for what it described as repeatedly offering "shady political services to potential clients over a number of years”.

The disgraced firm, which was previously known as SCL Elections, folded in 2018 after it was accused of accessing the data of around 80 million Facebook users and using it to target voters in the US during the 2016 presidential election and in the UK during the EU referendum earlier that year.

A whistleblower alleged that the firm had links to pro-Trump and pro-Brexit supporters.

Nix did not dispute the Insolvency Service's findings, which said he caused or permitted "offering potentially unethical services to prospective clients therefore demonstrating a lack of commercial probity".

He was also a director of other linked businesses including SCL Group Ltd, SCL Social Ltd, SCL Analytics Ltd and SCL Commercial Ltd.

The Insolvency Service said SCL Elections/Cambridge Analytica regularly offered “bribery or honey trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns”.

Mark Bruce, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Following an extensive investigation, our conclusions were clear that SCL Elections had repeatedly offered shady political services to potential clients over a number of years.

“Company directors should act with commercial probity and this means acting honestly and correctly.

“Alexander Nix's actions did not meet the appropriate standard for a company director and his disqualification from managing limited companies for a significant amount of time is justified in the public interest.”