Diageo terminates London Irish rugby contract over Jackson signing

Global drinks giant Diageo has terminated its sponsorship deal with London Irish rugby club over the signing of former Ireland international Paddy Jackson, who was acquitted of rape last year.

The Guinness owner had a sponsorship relationship with the club since 1992 but said the signing of Jackson was “not consistent” with its values.

“We have met with the club to express our concerns. Their recent decision is not consistent with our values and so we have ended our sponsorship,” the company said in a statement.

London Irish said they were “understandably disappointed” by the decision and regretted the relationship had ended in such a manner.

The trial of Jackson and fellow Ireland international Stuart Olding received widespread media coverage last year. The pair were accused of raping the woman in Jackson’s home in June 2016. Jackson repeatedly denied the rape allegation and was cleared of all charges.

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