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Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022

Tories did not take claim of MP’s alleged sexual assault seriously, court told

Tories did not take claim of MP’s alleged sexual assault seriously, court told

Man who alleges assault by Imran Ahmad Khan when he was 15 contacted party press office after election of Wakefield MP in 2019
A man who alleges he was sexually assaulted by a Tory MP when he was 15 has told a court that he contacted the Conservative press office to tell them what happened.

The people he spoke to did not take him “very seriously”, a jury at the trial of Imran Ahmad Khan heard on Thursday.

Khan, 48, was elected MP for Wakefield in West Yorkshire in 2019. He denies a single count of sexual assault against the boy.

He allegedly forced the 15-year-old to drink gin and tonic, dragged him upstairs and asked him to watch pornography before groping him in a bunk bed after a party in January 2008.

Southwark crown court heard that a police report was made but the boy did not want to make a formal complaint at the time. But it all came “flooding back” when he discovered Khan was standing as a candidate in the 2019 election.

Days after Khan’s victory in the “red wall” seat, the young man went to the police.

The alleged victim said he voted Labour but said his complaint was not politically motivated. “If it was, I would’ve done it before the general election,” he said.

“I also contacted the Tory press office, trying to inform them what had happened. I wasn’t taken very seriously.” This contact took place days before the poll.

He continued: “I explained that Imran Khan was running for MP … and said: ‘He sexually assaulted me when I was a child, when I was 15.’”

The woman he spoke to, the court heard, sounded shocked and allegedly passed him on to someone else who sounded more stern and asked if he had any proof.

“I said: ‘Yes, there’s a police report,’ and she said: ‘Well …’ and that was it. I said: ‘I’m going to the police,’ and she said: ‘Well, you do that.’”

The alleged victim’s parents told how their son was left inconsolable and shaking after the incident at a house in Staffordshire.

The mother said Khan had seemed like a “very charming man” whom she believed was “foreign royalty”, while she described her son as an “absolutely joyous boy” whom she had tried to bring up in an “Enid Blyton existence”.

She said: “He was a young child, he was a boy. He wasn’t a man, and I think that is what has upset me the most about all of this. He was a child when he went upstairs that night and he suddenly had to face what he had to face.

“I will never, for as long as I live, forget this: [My son] just shaking and shaking and shaking. I couldn’t get any sense out of him. I just grabbed him and tried to calm him and stop him shaking.”

The MP claims he only touched the teenager’s elbow when he “became extremely upset” after a conversation about his confused sexuality.

Khan’s barrister, Gudrun Young QC, suggested in cross-examination that the complainant has given three “contradictory” accounts – a police report in 2008, and police interviews in 2019 and 2021.

She suggested the man, who has trained as an actor, is “literally making this up” and reliving a “drama you are convinced of in your own mind”.

But the alleged victim insisted he was telling the truth, telling the court: “I am not a liar.”

The trial continues.

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