Domestic abuse charity hits out at Portsmouth Tory campaign to ‘discredit’ its work with victims

Shonagh Dillon, chief executive of Aurora New Dawn
Shonagh Dillon, chief executive of Aurora New Dawn

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A CHARITY which supports survivors of domestic abuse has hit out at the campaign to ‘discredit’ its work.

Aurora New Dawn has responded to comments made by Tory councillor Rob New accusing the charity’s chief executive, Shonagh Dillon, of stirring up trouble at this week’s full council debate for her ‘own political gain’.

Cllr New said he was ‘laying on a beach in Mexico’ when Ms Dillon began whipping up a ‘hurricane of disruption’. He also accused her of putting ‘victims of domestic abuse at risk’ through her opposition to proposed domestic abuse cuts.

In a statement, the charity says: ‘The last few days have been extremely difficult for Aurora New Dawn, our CEO and our staff.

‘We have had to read, and hear, a number of ridiculous and outrageously negative things about the organisation, none of which are true. We find it impossible to comprehend why there appears a campaign to discredit Aurora with, amongst other things, allegations of abuse – totally contrary to our ethos of supporting victims and survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking.’ Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt has written a letter of complaint to the council’s chief executive, city solicitor and Lord Mayor about Cllr New’s remarks, and demanded an apology be made.

Cllr Hunt wrote: ‘There was an inexcusable and wicked attack using inflammatory words launched against a deputee by Cllr New yesterday. His attacks were personal and aimed at Shonagh Dillon, who had no way of replying to Cllr New’s disreputable statements - all recorded on the live stream.’