A Tory MP is facing trial accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008, it can now be revealed.
Imran Ahmad Khan, 47, the Conservative MP for Wakefield, West Yorkshire, is alleged to have groped the teenager in Staffordshire.
He denies the charge.
Ahmad Khan, who was elected at the 2019 general election, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by video-link from his lawyers’ office.
He can be named after reporting restrictions were lifted.
He faces a single count of sexual assault against the teenager, who cannot be identified because he is an alleged victim of a sexual offence, in 2008.
According to his website, the MP was born in Wakefield, where he attended the independent Silcoates School before going to university at the Pushkin Institute in Russia and graduating from King’s College London with a bachelor’s degree in war studies.
Before entering Parliament, he worked for the United Nations as a special assistant for political affairs in Mogadishu.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Ahmad Khan said: “It is true that an accusation has been made against me.
“May I make it clear from the outset that the allegation, which is from over 13 years ago, is denied in the strongest terms.
“This matter is deeply distressing to me and I, of course, take it extremely seriously.
“To be accused of doing something I did not do is shocking, destabilising, and traumatic. I am innocent.
“Those, like me, who are falsely accused of such actions are in the difficult position of having to endure damaging and painful speculation until the case is concluded.
“I ask for privacy as I work to clear my name.”
Rosemary Ainslie, head of Special Crime at the CPS, said: “The Crown Prosecution Service authorised police to charge Imran Ahmad Khan, MP for Wakefield, with one offence of sexual assault.
“The charge relates to an allegation of sexual assault in 2008. The CPS made the decision that Mr Khan should be charged after reviewing a file of evidence from Staffordshire Police.
“The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against Mr Khan are active and that he has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”