Doug Richard
Doug Richard appeared in the first two series of Dragon's Den before leaving in 2005BBC

An advisor to David Cameron and former Dragon's Den star has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 13-year-old girl.

Doug Richard, 56, a millionaire advisor who has accompanied the prime minster on several trips to Africa, was arrested on 5 January on suspicion of "inciting a child to engage in sexual activity".

Richard, who received an honour from the Queen for his work with helping entrepreneurs, was later released on bail until March. He said he "absolutely" denies the allegations against him.

A City of London Police spokesperson said: "City of London Police detectives arrested a 56-year-old man on 5 January, 2015, on suspicion of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child, meeting a child following sexual grooming, and rape of a girl under the age of consent."

In a statement to the Sunday Mirror, Richard said: "I absolutely deny the allegations made about me. It would be inappropriate to comment further given that the police are at a very early stage of their investigation."

Richard's association with Cameron started in 2007 when he was leader of the opposition. Cameron invited the entrepreneur to author a review into the state of small business in Britain, named the Richard Report.

As prime minster, Cameron has invited the US-born businessman on several overseas trips, including to Nigeria and South Africa.

He has also been an adviser to George Osborne, interviewing the chancellor on a YouTube video at the launch of a project called StartUp Britain.

Richard starred in the first two series of the BBC's Dragon's Den before leaving the show in 2005. To this day, he remains the only Dragon to go through an entire series without investing in one idea.