Disgraced sex attacker MP Imran Ahmad Khan is finally removed from the Commons: Ex-Tory politician handed ceremonial post that allows him to resign his Wakefield seat and set up by-election in the wake of his conviction for molesting boy, 15
An MP convicted of molesting a 15-year-old boy was finally removed from the Commons today to set up a tricky by-election for Boris Johnson.
Disgraced Imran Ahmad Khan was today handed a ceremonial role that allows him to resign his Wakefield seat, almost a month after he was found guilty of sexual assault.
He announced he was quitting more than two weeks ago, but dated the letter to the end of the April, allowing him to claim his £82,000 salary for the whole month.
Khan, 48, who was expelled by the Conservative Party after his conviction, was today made the Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern, the archaic way that MPs are able to quit between elections.
It means his ex Red wall seat in Yorkshire will become a by-election battleground between the Tories and Labour.
He took it for the Conservatives at the 2019 general election, having been held by Labour since the 1930s.
The contest, for which a date is yet to be set, is likely to deliver a verdict on how Red Wall voters view Mr Johnson’s government following the Partygate scandal and amid the cost-of-living crisis.
Yet, it will also be a huge test of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s ability to win back those heartland seats his party lost to the Conservatives in 2019.
Imran Ahmad Khan, who was this month convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy, is expected to officially leave Parliament on Tuesday
Khan was elected to Parliament in 2019 as part of Boris Johnson and the Conservative’s thumping general election win
Khan was found guilty on April 11 at Southwark Crown Court of sexually assaulting a teenage boy in 2008.
The court heard how Khan forced the then-teenager, now in his late 20s, to drink gin and tonic, dragged him upstairs, pushed him on to a bed and asked him to watch pornography before the attack at a house in Staffordshire.
When he announced his intent to quit the Commons on April 14, Khan said he would shortly write to confirm his resignation as an MP. But he delayed his departure from parliament by a fortnight.
Khan, who intends to appeal his conviction, told the Guardian that he had forward-dated his resignation until the end of April on the advice of parliamentary authorities.
But a parliamentary source insisted that MPs can ‘resign at a moment’s notice’ regardless of any winding-up process for their office.
They pointed to the example of Owen Paterson, the former Tory Cabinet minister who left the Commons following a lobbying scandal.
Mr Paterson’s resignation was formally confirmed the day after he said he would quit the Commons.
MPs, unless they are suspended from the Commons, are paid until the day they leave Parliament.
Under archaic rules, an elected MP has no right to resign.
But those wishing to leave the Commons can be appointed to the Steward and Bailiffs of the Chiltern Hundreds and of the Manor of Northstead.
These unpaid formal titles immediately bars a person from being an MP and effectively confirms their resignation.