A CONSERVATIVE councillor who was cleared of assaulting a former business partner could take up his previous cabinet role soon.

Last month, councillor Nick Housden, 33, was cleared of assaulting a former business partner who was about to evict him from his then Stonehouse constituency office.

Cllr Housden, who represents the town on Stroud District Council and Gloucestershire County Council, says he is open to taking on his previous cabinet role at Shire Hall.

He was given the public health and communities and levelling up portfolio at GCC in May 2022.

However, he stood down after he was arrested in November that year.

The post was never filled and now that Cllr Housden has been cleared he says he is open to taking on the role again.

“It shouldn’t take 13 months to decide what took the jury just eight minutes,” he said speaking after the case.

“I’m pleased it’s all done now.

“It wasn’t a difficult case for the jury to weigh up. I’m meeting [council leader] Mark [Hawthorne] in the new year to discuss.

“He hasn’t filled that public health portfolio. It’s something I’m happy to discuss with him in the new year. "The fact he hasn’t filled it and I’m not turning it down would suggest I’d take it.

“But it’s a conversation for me and Mark to have in the new year.”

Cllr Housden said on social media that he was thankful for the outcome of his court case and said it took the jury just eight minutes to come back with a verdict.

“Though I am of course pleased that this is now over, the past 13 months of being falsely accused of something that I did not do has taken its toll," he said.

“It has cost me tens of thousands of pounds, I have been away from some work for over a year, and it has had a significant bearing on my health, given the stress I have been under.

“The right to defend one’s self is set out in law, and that is what I had to do. I believe these proceedings should never have been heard.”