Imran Ahmad Khan: MP resigns after being found guilty of sexually assaulting 15-year-old

14 April 2022, 17:21 | Updated: 14 April 2022, 18:33

Imran Ahmad Khan will resign as MP for Wakefield
Imran Ahmad Khan will resign as MP for Wakefield. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Imran Ahmad Khan has said he will resign as MP for Wakefield after he was thrown out of the Conservative Party when he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

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in a statement posted to Twitter, Imran Ahmad Khan said: "While legal proceedings are ongoing, I do not believe that it would ordinarily be appropriate to resign.

"However, owing to long delays in the legal process, my constituents have already been without visible parliamentary representation for a year. Even in the best case scenario, anticipated legal proceedings could last many more months.

"I have therefore regrettably come to the conclusion that it is intolerable for constituents to go years without an MP who can amplify their voices in Parliament.

"Representing them has been the honour of my life, and they deserve better than this.

"Consequently I am resigning as MP for Wakefield and withdrawing from political life."

The former Tory MP added: "I shall shortly write to the Parliamentary authorities to confirm this.

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"I am now able to focus entirely on clearing my name. As I intend for this to be my only statement, I would like to apologise to my family and community for the humiliation this has caused them.

"Questions surrounding sexuality in my community are not trivial, and learning from the press about my orientation, drinking, and past behaviour before I became an MP has not been easy."

Khan, 48, the MP for Wakefield in West Yorkshire, was expelled from the Party with "immediate effect" on Monday after a jury found him guilty of sex assault on a 15-year-old boy.

Khan dragged the teenager upstairs, pushed him onto a bed and asked him to watch pornography before the attack at a house in Staffordshire, a court heard.

The victim, now in his late 20s, told a jury he was left feeling "scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised" after Khan touched his feet and legs, coming within "a hair's breadth" of his privates, as he tried to sleep in a top bunkbed.

Khan, who is gay and a Muslim, denied sexual assault, claiming he only touched the Catholic teenager's elbow when he "became extremely upset" after a conversation about his confused sexuality.

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But the MP was found guilty by a jury at Southwark Crown Court on Monday after around five hours of deliberations.

The judge, Mr Justice Baker, said he will sentence Khan on a later date.

The Conservative party expelled the MP "with immediate effect" following the guilty verdict.

During Khan's trial, the victim, now 29, told the court he ran to his parents and a police report was made at the time, but no further action was taken because the youngster did not want to make a formal complaint.

But he told jurors "it all came flooding back" when he learned Khan was standing in the December 2019 general election.

The Tory hopeful was literally parachuted into the constituency in a skydiving stunt after he was selected to replace Antony Calvert weeks before the election.

Days ahead of the poll, the victim said he contacted the Conservative Party press office, to tell them what Khan had done to him, but added: "I wasn't taken very seriously."

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Khan, who was sent a questionnaire by Staffordshire Police rather than being interviewed under caution at a station because of "Covid protocols in place at the time", denied sexual assault.

Khan, then 34, said he was trying to be "kind" and "helpful", but the teenager became upset and "bolted" when the topic of pornography was raised.

Janes Solicitors, the firm representing Khan, said in a statement: "Our client Imran Ahmad Khan MP maintains his innocence and will be appealing as soon as possible."

The Conservative party now face a challenging by-election in Wakefield.

Labour had held the seat since the 1930s until Mr Khan's victory in the 2019 general election, when the Prime Minister led the Conservatives to seize a tranche of former Labour strongholds.

But the resignation sets up a tricky battle for the Tories to retain the seat, as Mr Johnson fights to remain leader after being fined by police for breaching his own coronavirus laws.

Mr Khan won Wakefield by 3,358 over Labour former frontbencher Mary Creagh but the Conservatives will be nervous about maintaining that lead.

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