People should not be forced out of their jobs, says wronged Tory lobbyist

Written by David Singleton on 5 July 2018 in News

Richard Holden has told how Newington Communications fired him by email.

The former Conservative special adviser who was wrongly accused of sexual assault and then lost his job in public affairs has spoken out about his ordeal.

In a two-part article for the ConservativeHome website, Richard Holden explains how he was found not guilty earlier this year after an agonising 15 months of waiting, during which time he was forced out of his special adviser role and later sacked by Newington Communications.

Holden, a former aide to Michael Fallon, had been signed up by Newington as an associate director in September 2017. But his public affairs career ended abruptly six weeks later when Buzfeed revealed that Holden was interviewed by the police under caution in February 2017.

Recalling the day the story broke, he writes: “Newington fire me by email that afternoon, before the story is published, and issue a statement citing their ‘highest ethical standards’. It doesn’t seem to matter that I haven’t done anything unethical.”

In May 2018, Holden was finally found not guilty with the jury returning unanimous verdicts after deliberating for a matter of minutes.

“In order to save innocent people going through horrendous ordeals and to ensure resources are spent on pursuing reasonable cases, there are a few basic things that need to change,” he writes today.

Turning to how employers should respond to such cases such as his, he adds: “I had a variety of experiences with employers, ranging from the utterly excellent to the totally appalling…. People should not be forced out of their jobs (which often means crippling financial issues on top of the financial issues they’re already facing) – and innocent until proven guilty should be the default setting.”

A spokesperson for Newington did not comment on Holden’s article and instead referred back to the statement it issued in 2017 which cited Holden's "failure to disclose the fact that he was under police investigation at the outset of his employment with the agency".



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