Imran Ahmad Khan resigns as Wakefield MP following sexual assault conviction

Imran Ahmad Khan has resigned as the MP for Wakefield following his conviction for sexual assault.

Imran Ahmad Khan at Southwark Crown Court earlier this week
Imran Ahmad Khan at Southwark Crown Court earlier this week

His stepping down will trigger a by-election in the West Yorkshire seat, which Khan won for the Conservatives with a majority of just over 3,300, having been Labour for more than 80 years.

It will signify a key electoral challenge for the Tories in the so-called Red Wall, where their numerous victories in 2019 handed them their majority.

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In a statement on Twitter this evening, Khan said: “While legal proceedings are ongoing, I do not believe that it would ordinarily be appropriate to resign.

“However, owing to long delays in the legal process, my constituents have already been without visible parliamentary representation for a year. Even in the best case scenario, anticipated legal proceedings could last many more months.

“I have therefore regrettably come to the conclusion that it is intolerable for constituents to go years without an MP who can amplify their voices in Parliament.

“Representing them has been the honour of my life, and they deserve better than this.

“Consequently I am resigning as MP for Wakefield and withdrawing from political life.”

He was thrown out of the Conservative Party following the jury's guilty verdict at Southwark Crown Court earlier this week.

Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour’s national campaign coordinator, said: “The people of Wakefield have been badly let down by the Conservatives. Imran Khan hasn’t resigned a minute too soon. The Government should now call a by election so that the people of Wakefield can elect an MP who will be on their side.

“Only Labour has a plan to tackle the cost of living crisis and the crime on our streets, and give the people of Wakefield the security, prosperity and respect they deserve.”