Former Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party staffer appointed head of comms for Senedd Tories
A key staffer who previously worked for an Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party member has been appointed the new head of comms for the Welsh Conservative Senedd group.
Conor Holohan previously worked for Mark Reckless from 2018 until 2021 – firstly as a senior researcher then as a senior advisor.
Reckless is a former UKIP MP who went on to join the Conservative Group but left in 2019 over the party’s failure to deliver Brexit.
In May 2019, Reckless made moves to form a new Brexit Party group in the Senedd but was criticised by pro-devolution Brexit Party volunteers when he suggested that he would support the campaign to abolish the Senedd.
He then left and joined the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party.
Despite being employed by Mr Reckless, Nation.Cymru has obtained a press release sent from Holohan’s Senedd email address in March 2021 with the title: “ABOLISH PARTY ACCUSES BBC OF BIAS OVER ELECTION COVERAGE GUIDELINES.”
On LinkedIn, Holohan confirms he worked in two different roles for Reckless until he was made redundant when Reckless lost his seat.
He also previously ran the hard right blog Bubble Wales alongside the former UKIP official Crispin John who was found to have stolen equipment worth almost £2,000 from the Senedd.
Holohan went on to manage communications for the Leader of the Opposition in Wales, Andrew RT Davies before leaving the Senedd to work as a media campaign manager for the Tax Payers Alliance.
In 2022, Mr Holohan stood unsuccessfully as a Conservative council candidate in Grangetown, Cardiff.
A Tory source has confirmed that Holohan returned to the Welsh Conservatives staff around Christmas time last year as the Senedd group’s head of comms.
A Welsh Labour source said: “Having so recently led the campaign to abolish the Senedd many would see it as an odd move to take a role with a party that is ‘committed’ to the principle of the Senedd.
“It is however not such a leap as the Welsh Conservatives are willing to jump on any populist bandwagon including entertaining the idea of abolishing the institution they sit in.”
Welsh Conservative Chief of Staff Paul Smith declined to comment and instead threatened to report Nation.Cymru to IPSO, citing the Editors’ Code of Conduct.
Mr Smith demonstrated a lack of understanding of the Code as it is in the public interest to draw attention to the fact the head of comms working for the opposition in Wales was formerly an aide to an elected representative of a fringe party that campaigned for the abolition of the Welsh Parliament.
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