Imran Ahmad Khan: MP resigns after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy | Political news

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Imran Ahmad Khan has resigned as an MP after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

Boris Johnson now faces a potentially tough by-election in Wakefield.

Khan, who represented the West Yorkshire seat, was kicked out of the Conservative Party after being sentenced on Monday.

He said stepping down would allow him to “focus entirely on clearing my name.”

Imran Ahmad Khan arrives at Southwark Crown Court in London, where he is charged with assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008. He is charged with a single count of sexual assault against the then teenager, who no can be identified for legal reasons.  Picture date: Monday April 11, 2022.
Picture:
Khan said he would appeal the court verdict
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In a statement posted to Twitter, Khan said: “While legal proceedings are ongoing, I do not believe it would normally be appropriate to resign.

“However, due to lengthy delays in the court process, my constituents have already been without visible parliamentary representation for a year. Even in the best-case scenario, the planned court proceedings could last several more months.

“I have therefore unfortunately come to the conclusion that it is intolerable for voters to go years without an MP who can amplify their voice in Parliament.”

He said his constituents ‘deserved better than this’ and so he was resigning as MP for Wakefield and ‘retiring from political life’.

During the trial at Southwark Crown Court, the jury heard Khan force a 15-year-old boy to drink gin and tonic at a party before dragging the teenager upstairs, pushing him onto a bed and throwing him ask to watch pornography before the attack.

The victim, now 29, said Khan touched his feet and legs and the MP came ‘within a hair’ of his soldiers as he tried to sleep in a bed upper bunk.

Political Correspondent Joe Pike

Joe Pike

Political correspondent

@joepike

Labor has known for months that a crucial by-election battle could be on the cards following Imran Ahmad Khan’s trial, and behind the scenes they are preparing for it.

With Khan’s resignation as MP, the fight for Wakefield’s fringe Red Wall seat is on.

It will be a key test for Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership, offering the possibility of the Tories’ first victory in a Labor by-election in a decade.

The constituency backed Brexit with 63%. It was one of the reasons why pro-EU Labor incumbent Mary Creagh lost her seat in 2019 – her first time at the hands of the Tories since the 1930s.

Ms Creagh is not expected to run in the City again, but she is still believed to want to return to Westminster.

Labor sources are optimistic about their chances of victory. Without Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership or Brexit, and with a cost of living crisis, they argue Wakefield is winnable.

The Conservatives hope their new campaign infrastructure and investments in the region will bolster their efforts.

However, they also face tough questions about the warnings Khan’s victims said ahead of the 2019 election, which appear to have been ignored.

Khan was only chosen to represent the Conservatives in the West Yorkshire seat after the original candidate pulled out over the emergence of racist and sexist Facebook posts.

He ran to his parents and a police report was made at the time, but no further action was taken as the youngster did not want to press charges officially.



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