A former teacher at the boarding school attended by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been found not guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a pupil.

Simon Taylor, the former head of drama at independent school Winchester College, was acquitted by a jury after a trial at Winchester Crown Court on two charges which related to a boy who was aged between 16 and 17 at the time of the alleged offences.

Mr Taylor, who is from Bermondsey, Southwark, had denied kissing and cuddling the boarding pupil, to whom he provided pastoral support.

Tim Moores, who prosecuted the case, told the jury that Mr Taylor “denied kissing or cuddling” the complainant or “loving him in a sexual way” but he had admitted that he was an “inveterate hugger”.

He added that Mr Taylor had said that he “looked after him (the complainant) in a way that he thought was right and proper”.

The 78-year-old defendant, who retired in 2013, was discharged after the verdicts.