'Look in the mirrror and do the right thing:' Sexual abuse survivor tells disgraced Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan he must resign
Khan was convicted on Monday of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.
He was later expelled from the Conservative party, but still remains Wakefield’s MP.
His legal team have vowed to appeal his conviction which could delay the process for a by-election, although if he is imprisoned for more than a year he is automatically disqualified from being an MP.
Robert Balfour runs Survivors West Yorkshire, a support service which offers counselling to around 100 men a year who have experienced sexual violence and abuse, after he himself was a victim of sexual abuse as a child.
He said: “Anybody who has committed a sexual crime should not be able to hold public office.
“It’s up to the appeals process to decide if he was fairly tried- but in the end, if the verdict stands up, he must resign.
“We expect our public servants to have integrity and honour.
“He should do the honourable thing and resign for his own sake, and for the sake of all the people in his constituency who want to trust their MP, especially those who have experience sexual harassment.
“I would say he needs to look in the mirror and do the right thing.”
Khan could also be subject to a recall vote, which happens when enough of his constituents sign a petition calling for his removal.
Under current law, some 10 per cent of his constituency - equating to just over 7,000 people - would have to sign the petition for it to take effect.
It comes after a former justice minister was forced to apologise for the “significant upset and concern” caused by his defence of Khan.
Tory MP Crispin Blunt removed a post from his website and Twitter feed in which he had claimed Khan was the victim of a “dreadful miscarriage of justice."
In a statement, Mr Blunt said he had decided to retract his statement and insisted “I do not condone any form of abuse and I strongly believe in the independence and integrity of the justice system”.
He also offered his resignation as chairman of an all-party parliamentary group on LGBT issues following protests from MPs about his comments.
The retraction follows a statement published on Mr Blunt’s website on Monday which described the jury’s decision in Khan’s case was “nothing short of an international scandal”.