Crispin Blunt apologises for defending MP convicted of sexual assault
Tory MP Crispin Blunt has retracted his statement defending convicted sex offender Imran Ahmad Khan and issued an apology for causing "significant upset."
The Conservative MP for Wakefield Khan was found guilty on Monday of assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.
In a statement on his website, Blunt, the MP for Reigate, had initially called the verdict a "dreadful miscarriage of justice."
“I am utterly appalled and distraught at the dreadful miscarriage of justice that has befallen my friend and colleague Imran Ahmad Khan, MP for Wakefield since December 2019,”
“I sat through some of the trial. The conduct of this case relied on lazy tropes about LGBT+ people that we might have thought we had put behind us decades ago,” he said.
“As a former justice minister, I was prepared to testify about the truly extraordinary sequence of events that has resulted in Imran being put through this nightmare start to his parliamentary career.”
The Reigate MP has since turned to Twitter to apologise for his statement defending Khan after it understandably caused backlash among other MPs. Labour's Chris Bryant called it out as "wholly inappropriate", while the Labour chair, Anneliese Dodds, called Blunt’s comment “disgraceful”.
Blunt penned: "On reflection I have decided to retract my statement defending Imran Ahmad Khan. I am sorry that my defence of him has been a cause of significant upset and concern not least to victims of sexual offences."
On reflection I have decided to retract my statement defending Imran Ahmad Khan. I am sorry that my defence of him has been a cause of significant upset and concern not least to victims of sexual offences.pic.twitter.com/rzcnJbdT0g
Southwark Crown Court heard Khan forced the boy to drink gin, before dragging him upstairs, and asking him to watch pornography before assaulting him.
Khan was thrown out of the Conservative Party after Southwark Crown Court delivered its verdict, but he has said he will appeal against his conviction.
A Conservative HQ spokesperson said: “A jury of Mr Khan’s peers has found him guilty of a criminal offence. We completely reject any allegations of impropriety against our independent judiciary, the jury or Mr Khan’s victim.”
Khan is set to be sentenced at a later date.
indy100 reached out to Crispin Blunt for comment.
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