Outrage after Tory MP defends colleague convicted of sexually assaulting teenage boy
‘Crispin’s views are wholly unacceptable’
Tory MP Crispin Blunt has been widely condemned after issuing an appalling and disgraceful statement in which he questioned the conviction of Imran Ahmad Khan, MP for Wakefield, who was found guilty of sexually assaulting a boy in 2008.
Khan was expelled from the Conservative Party with immediate effect following his conviction.
Blunt issued a statement in which he said that the conviction was a “dreadful miscarriage of justice” and “nothing short of an international scandal”.
Khan was found guilty by Southwark Crown Court on Monday. The court heard how he forced the victim to drink alcohol, dragged him upstairs, pushed him on to a bed and asked him to watch pornography before the attack at a house in Staffordshire.
Blunt said the case had relied on “lazy tropes” and claimed it had “dreadful implications” for LGBT+ Muslims.
Blunt’s comments led to an immediate backlash, with the Labour Party calling for his immediate suspension and the Tory Party urging Blunt to withdraw his statement. Blunt has since deleted the statement and resigned as chair of the LGBTQ+ parliamentary group. His dreadful statement also led to the resignation of three MPs from the APPG, the Scottish National party MPs Stewart McDonald and Joanna Cherry, and Labour’s Chris Bryant.
A Conservative Party source told the Guardian: “Crispin’s views are wholly unacceptable” and said there had been “exchanges late last night” that led to the statement being withdrawn.”
A CCHQ spokesperson said last night that the party “completely reject any allegations of impropriety against our independent judiciary”.
Blunt’s statement was condemned from across the political spectrum. Labour’s Chris Bryant MP tweeted: “Blunt’s statement denouncing the conviction of fellow Conservative MP Imran Khan is appalling. Blunt did not hear the prosecution, he did not listen to the victim. A jury who did has convicted Khan and this kind of attack on the judiciary by a lawmaker is wrong.”
Stewart McDonald MP, SNP Member of Parliament for Glasgow South, tweeted: “I have resigned as a vice-chair of the @APPGLGBT following Crispin Blunt’s statement. This was the first APPG I joined as an MP and it meant a lot to me. Parliament needs a respected and robust LGBT group and Crispin can no longer provide that leadership. He should stand down.”
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward
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