An MP suspended by the Tories is facing trial for the alleged sexual assault in 2008 of a 15-year-old boy, it can now be revealed.
Imran Ahmad Khan, the 47-year-old representing Wakefield in West Yorkshire, issued a denial “in the strongest terms”. The allegation is that he groped the teenager in Staffordshire.
Ahmad Khan helped Boris Johnson win a large Commons majority by taking the constituency in the so-called “red wall”. This is the area in the Midlands and the North of England that formed Labour’s heartlands.
— Imran Ahmad Khan MP 🇬🇧 (@imranahmadkhan) June 18, 2021
The Conservatives have suspended the whip from Ahmad Khan, meaning he’ll sit as an independent MP in the Commons. The suspension took place after reporting restrictions preventing Ahmed Khan from being identified were lifted on 18 June. The MP faces a single count of sexual assault against the then-teenager in 2008. The plaintiff can’t be identified because he’s an alleged victim of a sexual offence.
Ahmad Khan is from Wakefield and was first elected in the 2019 general election. He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 17 June by video-link from his lawyers’ office.
Asked to indicate a plea to the charge, he responded: “Not guilty”.
Ahmad Khan was granted unconditional bail ahead of his appearance at the Old Bailey on 15 July. He took the Wakefield constituency from senior Labour MP Mary Creagh. In the last general election, Ahmed Khan overturned Creagh’s 2,000-vote majority in the seat she had held since 2005.
The loss of Ahmad Khan from the parliamentary party is unlikely to diminish the prime minister’s power in the Commons significantly. Johnson still holds a comfortable working majority of more than 80. But he has faced significant rebellions to pass legislation for coronavirus restrictions. The blushes of a defeat have only been saved by Labour not opposing the measures.
A spokesperson for the Tory whips’ office said:
Imran Ahmad Khan has had the whip suspended. As there is an ongoing court case, we will not be commenting further.
It was understood that the suspension was issued when chief whip Mark Spencer was informed of the charges. Ahmad Khan was said not to have been on the parliamentary estate since the charge was brought. And he wasn’t expected to return while the case was ongoing.
The charge, which was read out in court, stated:
In the county of Staffordshire you intentionally touched a boy aged 15 and that touching was sexual when he did not consent and you did not reasonably believe that he was consenting, contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring said the case wasn’t suitable for trial in the magistrates’ court and sent the case to the Old Bailey.
According to Ahmed Khan’s website, he was born in Wakefield. He attended the independent Silcoates School there before going to university at the Pushkin Institute in Russia. He later graduated from King’s College London with a bachelor’s degree in war studies.
Before entering parliament, he worked for the United Nations as a special assistant for political affairs in Mogadishu.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said it made the decision to charge after reviewing a file of evidence from Staffordshire Police.
Stressing the need for a fair trial, the CPS’s Rosemary Ainslie said:
It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.
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