Julian Assange takes on ex-Labour MP and PR man Richard Hillgrove to seek ‘political solution’ to extradition impasse
Fearing extradition to the United States, Assange has remained in the embassy for six years.
Assange has now taken on GreenWood Associates to organise media appearances, parliamentary engagement, consultancy, publicity and other services. GWA is a consultancy led by Nigel Griffiths, who was a Scottish Labour MP for 23 years until 2010.
PR services on the account will be provided by 6Hillgrove, the agency led by controversial UK-based PR man Richard Hillgrove.
The ultimate goal of the two firms’ work is to ensure that Assange would not be extradited or otherwise taken to the US to face charges, were he to leave his Ecuadorian sanctuary.
GWA will be attempting to recruit allies in both London and Washington.
Hillgrove told PRWeek that the situation was currently at a “deadlock”, and pointed to a UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention statement in 2016, which said Assange should receive compensation from the UK authorities. “GWA is trying to create a political solution,” he continued.
One aspect that may be emphasised in GWA and 6HillGrove’s campaigning is the high costs incurred by UK police since Assange’s initial arrest and release in 2010.
Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson has also used 6Hillgrove around other cases.
Two other recently acquired joint clients of GWA and Hillgrove are Rose McGowan, the actress who has led accusations and outcry against Harvey Weinstein, and Dr Frank d’Ambrosio, a US medical cannabis practitioner.
GWA ran a launch event for d’Ambrosio’s book in the UK Parliament last month and has been working with parents of children suffering from epilepsy to publicise their calls for access to cannabis-based medicine.