Paul Golding, the leader of the fringe activist group Britain First, has been accused of a sex attack after attending a protest against child sex abuse.
A young woman accused him of assaulting her after she attended a protest against grooming gangs in the town of Rochdale, The Times reports.
Britain First has been under intense media scrutiny after U.S. President Donald J. Trump retweeted messages from the verified account of the group’s deputy leader Jayda Fransen. It is not clear if Mr. Trump knew who they were when he shared the posts.
Mr. Golding, 35, is Ms. Fransen’s former boyfriend and the pair have both recently been charged with inciting racial hatred.
Greater Manchester Police told The Times: “A woman in her 20s was allegedly assaulted at a hotel in Grains Bar, Oldham on Saturday 22 July 2017. A 35-year-old man was voluntarily interviewed and has been released under investigation.”
The alleged victim of the sexual assault, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims she was incentivised to stay quiet over the claim and was later subjected to harassment and online abuse.
The woman claims the assault occurred after she kissed Mr. Golding following the Rochdale rally in July. He had wanted to go further, she says, and later that night “forced himself” on her in a hotel room.
“I had to scream; I had to struggle. It took me several attempts to get him to stop,” she said, adding that she had engaged in consensual relations with her alleged attacker on a later occasion.
The alleged victim says she immediately complained to others in the leadership team following the attack, but they dismissed Mr. Golding’s behaviour as drunken and out of character.
“I was promised things in order that I didn’t say anything,” she said.
The group is reportedly fraught with infighting since Mr. Golding and Ms. Fransen separated. They are thought to have roughly 1,000 members and struggle to muster more than a dozen people at demonstrations.