The appearing chief government of the Folks’s Vote marketing campaign has stepped down whereas an investigation takes place into allegations of harassment in direction of feminine workers, it has emerged.
Within the newest improvement within the implosion of the second referendum marketing campaign, Patrick Heneghan, a former head of campaigns for the Labour social gathering, has been accused of appearing inappropriately in direction of three feminine workers members whereas working inside one other anti-Brexit marketing campaign group.
Heneghan, who denies the claims, has opted to face down whereas they’re investigated by an impartial workforce of legal professionals. It comes with dozens of workers members nonetheless refusing to return to work after two senior marketing campaign figures had been fired as a part of an alleged energy seize by Roland Rudd, the PR guru and the marketing campaign’s chairman.
Workers had mentioned they might not return to work whereas Heneghan, appointed by Rudd simply weeks in the past, was on the helm. Others nonetheless wish to see the reinstatement of James McGrory and Tom Baldwin, the previous officers fired by Rudd.
Heneghan mentioned: “I completely deny these politically motivated allegations. I’ve already absolutely complied with an preliminary investigation and can now take a few weeks of depart to adjust to one other one.”
An ally mentioned Heneghan had labored in politics for 22 years with out ever going through any allegations of this nature. “He’s being smeared and threatened as collateral harm in a battle between Roland Rudd and the previous senior workers he sacked,” they mentioned.
The Observer revealed final week that some workers had written to Rudd, saying they didn’t “really feel protected returning to work”. The claims in opposition to Heneghan concern his conduct throughout a karaoke night out and the propositioning of feminine colleagues. Whereas Heneghan’s allies see the claims as a smear designed to undermine Rudd, pals of the ladies mentioned there was proof that that they had mentioned reporting the allegations earlier than Rudd’s determination to fireplace senior workers and restructure the marketing campaign.
A letter to the board of Open Britain, the biggest of 5 organisations that type Folks’s Vote, states Heneghan will stand down whereas an investigation is carried out. Anne Weyman, a member of the board, states: “Patrick Heneghan shall be taking a depart of absence from the organisation whereas an impartial investigation takes place into allegations made in opposition to him. Patrick has mentioned he desires the chance to attempt to clear his identify.”
Stuart Hand, who was a director of campaigns at Open Britain, has been appointed as Heneghan’s interim alternative. A press release launched on behalf of Folks’s Vote marketing campaign workers on strike states: “There’s an actual hazard that the errors of the previous fortnight shall be compounded until the board of Open Britain lastly grasps the chance to open a correct dialogue with these organisations and the workers.
“This marketing campaign is about greater than boardroom machinations and energy. It’s about the way forward for our nation. We would like nothing greater than to get again to work on this essential normal election to cease Boris Johnson forcing his onerous Brexit on the folks of the UK.”