MP facing sexual assault trial attended House of Commons despite assurances he would not

LONDON — A British MP accused of sexual assault attended the House of Commons last month, despite providing assurances he would stay away from Westminster.

Imran Ahmad Khan, who sits as an independent after losing the Conservative whip, was charged with sexual assault in June and is awaiting trial.

Khan, who was elected MP for Wakefield in 2019, has been charged with assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008. He recently appeared in court to enter a not guilty plea, and has previously issued a denial to the allegation “in the strongest terms.”

At the time he was charged, Conservative Party officials said they had received assurances he would not return to Westminster while the case was ongoing.

However, Khan recently attended the Commons chamber on the day tributes were paid to David Amess, the Conservative MP murdered last month, POLITICO has learned.

Khan declined to comment. A House of Commons spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on specific cases or allegations.”

Trade unions representing parliamentary workers said the finding raised concerns over the lack of any means of preventing MPs accused of serious offenses from attending Westminster.

Garry Graham, the union Prospect’s deputy general secretary, said: “This is a further illustration that a voluntary system simply does not work.”

He added it was “long past time” parliamentary authorities formalizing a process for excluding members being investigated for sexual offenses, harassment or bullying from the parliamentary estate.

A spokesperson for the GMB trade union’s Branch of Members’ Staff said: “Relying on informal, honorable arrangements is not working.”

The unions wrote to the Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle in October asking for MPs accused of sexual misconduct to be banned from the Palace of Westminster.

Analysis of voting records showed that Khan also voted 25 times by proxy — intended as a COVID measure — between being charged and the proxy voting system being discontinued in September. 

Separately, Claudia Webbe, a former Labour MP convicted of harassment, continues to sit and vote in the Commons while she pursues an appeal that will not be heard until next year.

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