Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy at a house in Staffordshire in 2008.
Khan, 48, the MP for Wakefield in West Yorkshire, forced the boy to drink gin, dragged him upstairs, pushed him onto a bed and asked him to watch pornography before the attack, Southwark Crown Court heard.
The victim, now 29-years-old, was left feeling “scared, vulnerable, numb, shocked and surprised” after Khan touched his feet and legs, he told the jury – coming within “a hair’s breadth” of his genitals while he sat in a top bunkbed.
Khan, who in December 2019 was elected as the MP for Wakefield, has vehemently denied sexually assaulting the boy, claiming he only touched the Catholic teenager’s elbow when he “became extremely upset” after a conversation about his sexuality.
But the MP, who is gay and a Muslim, was found guilty by a jury on Monday after around five hours of deliberations.
The judge, Mr Justice Baker, said he will sentence Khan, who has been suspended by the Conservative Party, on a later date.
The victim claims he was not “taken very seriously” when he first made the allegation to the party’s press office days before Khan’s election success.
He then made a complaint to police a short while after Khan helped Prime Minister Boris Johnson win a large Commons majority by taking Wakefield from the so-called “red wall” that had formed Labour’s heartlands in northern England and the Midlands.
It followed a report made by the victim at the time of the assault after he ran to his parents, but no further action was taken because he did not want to make a formal complaint.
When he learned of Khan’s bid to take the Wakefield seat in 2019, the victim told the jury “it all came flooding back.”
Just days before the ballot, the victim said he reached out to the Tory press office to relay the details of Khan’s assault, but added: “I wasn’t taken very seriously.”
The MP was issued a questionnaire by Staffordshire Police in place of being interviewed under caution at a station because of “Covid protocols in place at the time.” I have denied sexual assault.
Khan said he was trying to be “kind” and “helpful” when discussing sexuality with the teenager, who he said appeared “troubled.”
He said the boy had become upset and “bolted” from a bedroom when their conversation turned to the topic of pornography.
He has rejected any suggestion their interaction was of a sexual nature, instead saying he had been engaged in a “philosophical” discussion about sexuality with the teen over the course of the evening.
When asked if he had any agenda in speaking about sexuality, he told Southwark Crown Court: “No, absolutely not. Not at all. I was just trying to be kind and helpful to a young man who wanted to talk.
“He seemed very keen to want to talk about this (sexuality). I think it would have been rude or perhaps a tad cruel to shut him down.”
Khan will be expelled from the House of Commons if he is handed a prison sentence of more than a year, or otherwise could be subject to a petition to oust him in the recall process.
The judge released him on bail, telling him: “You have been convicted by a jury of this offense of sexual assault and you will have to be sentenced in due course.
“I make it clear that all sentencing options, including immediate custody, are being considered by the court.”
In the wake of today’s verdict, Labor have called for Khan’s immediate resignation as an MP.
A Labor Party spokesman said: “Imran Ahmad Khan should immediately resign so a by-election can take place and the people of Wakefield can get the representation they deserve.”
Three Conservative MPs – Crispin Blun, Sir Peter Bottomley, father of the House of Commons, and Adam Holloway, who provided a character statement – attended the court as part of Khan’s defense case.
The victim said he could “vividly” recall the gin bottle Khan brought to the party, the smell of the drink in the glass tumbler, and the fizz of the bubbles as he was forced by the MP to drink its contents.
He also said Khan watched him do pull-ups, asked him to watch pornography and told him he was “good looking” in a “love whisper” in his ear, which was “disgusting and really slimy”.
Khan reached through the bars of the wooden bunkbed to touch the feet of the complainant who said he was pretending to sleep.
He said: “He was drunk because I could hear his heavy breathing.”
The victim said the “slow caressing” continued as the MP “worked his way around the bed” and “up my leg”, despite him telling Khan to stop.
He said he “froze”, adding: “I freaked out and jumped out of the bed and ran as fast as I could.”
The complainant’s brother, who was 18 at the time of his sibling’s assault, told the court he was also the victim of an “assault” when Khan asked if he was wearing his kilt like a “true Scotsman” – referring to the tradition of wearing one without underwear – before lifting it up with both hands.
During legal argument, Sean Larkin QC, prosecuting, said it was a “mere technicality” that Khan had not been charged with a second sexual assault of a man at a guesthouse in Pakistan, where the MP was working on a Foreign Office-funded project .
It is alleged in the separate claim against the Wakefield MP that Khan sexually assaulted a man in his sleep in Pakistan after a party.
The complainant said he had reported the incident to the British High Commission and the Foreign Office, but did not want to go to police in Pakistan because of Khan’s “powerful connections” in the military and government.
The jury was told that the alleged victim had come forward as a witness after hearing Khan had been charged with sexual assault.
It is understood a charge could not be brought because the alleged assault took place outside the jurisdiction before a change in the UK law.
But the MP insisted on sexual contact between him and the second alleged victim in November 2010 had been consensual.
Following Monday’s verdict, it emerged that Khan had tried to gag the media from reporting his name over the charge of sexually assaulting the 15-year-old boy.
In addition, the MP attempted to block the age of his victim, his own homosexuality, and even his penchant for a gin and tonic from being released into the public domain.