Wakefield MP Imran Khan resigns after sexual assault conviction

Imran Ahmad Khan was found guilty after a trial at Southwark Crown Court. Credit: PA

A Conservative MP has resigned after being convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy.

Imran Ahmad Khan, the MP for Wakefield, said he was "withdrawing from political life", but intended to appeal the verdict.

On Monday, 11 April, Khan was found guilty of assaulting a 15-year-old boy at a house party in Staffordshire in 2008.

In a statement on Thursday, the 48-year-old said: "I don’t know how to express the shock of the past three days. I have been characterised as a sexual predator, outcast, and worse."

He said that while legal proceedings were ongoing, he did not believe "it would ordinarily be appropriate to resign".

But he added: "Owing to long delays in the legal process, my constituents have already been without visible parliamentary representation for a year.

"Even in the best case scenario, anticipated legal proceedings could last many more months.

"I have therefore regrettably come to the conclusion that it is intolerable for constituents to go years without an MP who can amplify their voices in Parliament."

During Khan's trial, Southwark Crown Court heard that the 15-year-old complainant, who cannot be identified, was groped in a bedroom at the party.

He was "distraught" and fled to tell his parents, the jury was told.

Police were called to the house and the boy reported the incident, telling officers Khan had asked him to "show me some porn" and told him he was a "good-looking boy".

He did not want to take it any further, but then went back to police when he found out Khan was standing as an MP.

The jury took around five hours to deliver their guilty verdict.

Khan was the first Conservative elected for Wakefield in more than 80 years. Credit: UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA

'I would like to apologise to my family and community for the humiliation'

Khan was the first Conservative MP to be elected to represent Wakefield when he won the seat in 2019.

He was initially suspended by the party and has been expelled following the verdict, but continued to stand as an independent MP.

Labour had called for his immediate resignation after the court verdict.

In his statement, Khan said that representing Wakefield had been the "honour of my life".

He added: "I am now able to focus entirely on clearing my name. As I intend for this to be my only statement, I would like to apologise to my family and community for the humiliation this has caused them.

"Questions surrounding sexuality in my community are not trivial, and learning from the press about my orientation, drinking, and past behaviour before I became an MP has not been easy."

A by-election will now be held to find Khan's replacement.