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Conservative councillor charged with assault

A councillor has been charged with assault causing actual bodily harm, police have said.

Councillor Nick Housden, 32, who was elected as a Conservative to Gloucestershire County Council and Stroud District Council two years ago, will appear before magistrates next month.

Gloucestershire Police said the charge relates to an alleged incident on High Street, Stonehouse on November 2 last year.

Councillor Housden, of Beatrice Webb Lane, Standish, near Stroud is due to appear before Gloucestershire Magistrates’ Court in Cheltenham on April 4.

At the time of the alleged incident, he was the county council cabinet member for public health, communities and levelling up and deputy leader of the Conservative group on Stroud District Council.

A Gloucestershire Police spokesman said: “Nicholas Housden, 32, has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

“The charge relates to an incident on High Street, Stonehouse on November 2 last year.

“Mr Housden is due to appear at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on April 4.”

In a statement posted on Facebook, Councillor Housden said: “Until now I’ve not been able to speak about this incident at all, and I am sure you will all understand that I am still very limited in what I can share.

“At the beginning of November last year an incident took place at my then office on Stonehouse High Street.

“In the five months that have since passed, I have been working with Stroud police in getting to the bottom of what happened and why.

“Thankfully the end of this matter is now in sight, with a date set for early April that will allow me to share the true version of events.

“This has been a long process and during this time I sadly suffered a heart attack which certainly hasn’t helped.

“Returning to good health for the sake of my young children has been my priority in recent weeks, and so with this in mind, I have stepped back from the local Conservative group until this issue is resolved.”

Councillor Housden added: “I look forward to drawing a line under this incident, returning to full health and getting back to doing what I was elected to do.”