A Conservative MP has launched a remarkable attack on the conviction of a fellow Tory for sexually assaulting a teenage boy.
Crispin Blunt, the MP for Reigate, claimed Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan had been the victim of a "dreadful miscarriage of justice" after he was found guilty on Monday.
Khan denied groping the teenager at a party in Staffordshire in January 2008.
He has since been expelled by the Conservative Party.
But Mr Blunt issued a statement attacking Khan's conviction.
He said: "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.
"His conviction today is nothing short of an international scandal, with dreadful wider implications for millions of LGBT+ muslims around the world."
Southwark Crown Court heard Khan, who is gay, forced his victim to drink gin, dragged him upstairs and asked him to watch pornography before assaulting him.
The boy told his parents about what had happened and the incident was reported to police but it did not go any further at the time as he did not want to press charges.
However, the court heard he raised the matter with police again when he found out Khan was to stand as an MP.
Mr Blunt, who came out as gay in 2010, said: "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.
"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."
He added: "I hope for the return of Imran Ahmad Khan to the public service that has exemplified his life to date.
"Any other outcome will be a stain on our reputation for justice, and an appalling own goal by Britain as we try to take a lead in reversing the Victorian era prejudice that still disfigures too much of the global statute book."
Labour's chairwoman and shadow equalities secretary, Anneliese Dodds labelled Mr Blunt’s comments "disgraceful" and called on the Conservative Party to take action.