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Ex-lobby firm boss charged with child pornography offences

15 May 2023 3 minute read
Daran Hill. Photo licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The former head of a prominent Welsh lobbying company is due to appear in court charged with five offences relating to child pornography.

Daran Hill was the founder and managing director of Positif Politics before stepping down two years ago.

The company, which has changed its name to Camlas since Hill’s departure, claims to be the largest public affairs company in Wales, with clients in the public, private and third sectors.

A familiar figure in and around the Senedd, Hill was prominent in the Yes for Wales campaign at the time of the devolution referendum in 1997 that led to the establishment of what was initially known as the National Assembly.

Originally from Port Talbot, he studied at Cardiff University and became an activist in the National Union of Students.

Following his involvement with the referendum campaign, he became one of the best known political commentators in Wales, writing articles and making frequent appearances on TV and radio.

He socialised with politicians and those who worked for them, and was for a time an adviser to the Welsh Conservative Party.

Positif Politics was founded by Hill in 2006 and he remained a director until September 2021, when he resigned. He subsequently sold his stake in the company to some of its employees, who took it over in a management buy-out.

Majority shareholder

Hill was initially the majority shareholder in Positif Politics but a document filed to Companies House stated that he ceased to be a person with significant control and resigned as a director in September 2021. The new management team took over and the company’s name was changed to Camlas on November 2 that year.

Hill subsequently lived for a time in Kent, where he advertised his services as a proofreader.

The charges he is now facing follow a long investigation undertaken by the National Crime Agency.

Some Welsh news outlets became aware that Hill had been arrested in 2021, but were advised by their lawyers not to report that unless and until he was charged.

A spokeswoman for the National Crime Agency said: “Daran Hill, 52, from Cardiff has been charged with offences relating to indecent images of children (IIOC) as part of a National Crime Agency investigation.

“Hill was charged on April 24 2023 with five counts, including two counts of distributing IIOC and three counts of making IIOC.

“He is due to appear at Cardiff Magistrates Court on May 23 2023.”

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