A Conservative MP was found guilty on Monday of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy in 2008, prompting Labor to call for his immediate resignation in a move that would trigger by-elections in one of the party’s ruling parties. the headquarters of the “red wall” in northern England.
Imran Ahmad Khan, Wakefield MP in West Yorkshire, was immediately expelled by the Conservative Party after a jury convicted him at Southwark Crown Court in London. The verdict will be handed down to the 48-year-old later. Khan’s legal team said in a statement that their client would appeal the conviction.
Labor called on Khan to resign “immediately” so that by-elections could be held and “the people of Wakefield could get the representation they deserve”. Khan defeated incumbent Labor President Mary Creagh in the last general election, once in a series of Tory victories in the traditional heart of the opposition working class.
Khan, who was previously suspended by his party until the outcome of the trial, could remain as an MP until the legal process is completed.
However, if he received a prison sentence of more than 12 months, he would automatically lose his place in the House of Commons. He could still be fired if given a lighter sentence if more than 10 per cent of eligible voters in his constituency sign a recall petition
Khan was convicted under Section 3 of the Sexual Offenses Act 2003. The sentence for the offenses covered by this offense can range from a community order to seven years in prison, depending on the individual facts of the case and the age of the victim.
The attack came more than a decade before he was elected to parliament in January 2008 when Khan was 34 years old. The trial was heard to have tried to force the then 15-year-old boy to drink alcohol before sexually assaulting him at a home in Staffordshire, the trial said. The boy informed his parents about the sexual assault.
The Crown Prosecution said in a statement after Khan’s conviction that a report had been filed with Staffordshire police at the time, but the victim, who could not be named, decided he did not want to continue. However, he decided to continue with the appeal after seeing that Khan was elected MP in 2019 because he was worried that the politician was incapable of public office.
The MP was found guilty after a one-week trial. “It took a lot of courage for the victim to report in 2008 and again in 2019,” said Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS’s Special Department for Crime.
The conviction was questioned by former Conservative Justice Minister Crispin Blunt, who wrote on his website that it was “nothing but an international scandal, with terribly broader implications for millions of LGBT + Muslims around the world.”
Blunt, a Reigate MP, claims that the prosecution’s case “relied on lazy stories about LGBT + people we may have thought we left behind decades ago.”
Labor has criticized Blunt’s defense of Khan. Aneliese Dodds, the shadow shadow minister, described it as “shameful” and called on Boris Johnson to distance the Tory party from his remarks.
Khan was the first Tory MP since 1931 to win in the Wakefield constituency. A strong supporter of Brexit, he took the seat from Creah, who is in favor of staying, with a majority of 3,358.
Any by-elections in the constituency are expected to be difficult, and opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer wants to show that his party can regain its former heart from the Tories.
Older Tories think by-elections in the city would be difficult to win in the coming months, as the party lags behind Labor in the polls. One strategist said, “given the circumstances, it would be very difficult for us.”