Newington parts company with ex-Tory adviser accused of assault
Richard Holden denies sexually assaulting a young woman at a party.
Newington Communications has terminated the contract of a former Conservative special adviser who is being investigated by the police over an allegation of sexual assault.
The public affairs firm signed up Richard Holden, a former aide to Michael Fallon, as an associate director just six weeks ago.
At the time, Holden said he was "really looking forward to supporting Newington’s clients engage across the board and helping to contribute towards the company’s continued rapid growth".
But his public affairs career has ended abruptly after Buzfeed revealed last night that Holden was interviewed by the police under caution in February this year. He is accused of assaulting a woman in her twenties at a party in London last December.
In response, a Newington spokesperson told PAN: "We were made aware yesterday (7/11) for the first time of a criminal allegation being investigated against him.
"Whilst we have not formed any view about the veracity or otherwise of the allegation, Richard had his contract with Newington Communications terminated with immediate effect due to his failure to disclose the fact that he was under police investigation at the outset of his employment with the agency.
"Newington at all times holds the highest ethical standards, and our contractual terms with all of our staff reflect this."
Before becoming a special adviser to the defence secretary, Holden spent seven years in the Tory press office. In the 2015 general election he stood as the party’s candidate for Preston, where he lost out to Labour’s Mark Hendrick.
He has strongly denied the allegation of sexual assault, saying: "It is completely and utterly untrue. I look forward to clearing my name in court."