Tory MP Crispin Blunt apologises after defending child sex offender Imran Ahmad Khan yet again

Tory MP Crispin Blunt and Imran Ahmad Khan.

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt has yet again defended disgraced ex-colleague Imran Ahmad Khan after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a teen boy, claiming Khan “did not get a fair trial”.

Disgraced ex-Tory MP Khan, 48, was found guilty in April of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in 2008. He was expelled from the Conservative Party immediately after and subsequently stepped down as the MP for Wakefield.

On Monday (23 May), Khan was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The judge said Khan should serve 18 months, “half on custody, released on license for remainder of the term, subject to recall should you commit a further offence”.

Blunt, 61, had previously defended Khan, describing his conviction for child sexual assault as a “dreadful miscarriage of justice” in April.

He said in a now-deleted tweet that the conviction was “nothing short of an international scandal, with dreadful implications for millions of LGBT+ Muslims around the world”.

He alleged the “conduct of the case relied on lazy tropes about LGBT+ people” and said he hoped for the “return” of Khan to the “public service that has exemplified his life to date”. 

Blunt later apologised that his statement caused “significant upset and concern, not least to victims of sexual offences”.

He clarified that he doesn’t “condone any form of abuse” and believes in the “independence and integrity of the justice system”. 

After receiving severe criticism for his defence of Khan in April, Blunt announced he would stand down at the next general election, due to take place in 2024. However, on Sunday (22 May), he spoke on the issue yet again in an interview with the BBC’s Politics South East programme.

“I remain confident [Khan] will win his appeal and I will be distressed about our justice system if he doesn’t,” Crispin Blunt said.

He added: “I saw what happened. I attended part of the trial. I know what decisions were made during the trial, which mean that, in my judgment, he did not get a fair trial.

“The justice process is not complete, because Imran has the opportunity to appeal the conviction, and I remain very confident that a justice system worthy of the name will restore his good name.”

After yet more searing backlash, Blunt took to Twitter on Monday (23 May) to say he stood by “the retraction and apology already issued” following “an interview with BBC South East and the BBC’s representation of the interview”.

“I do not condone any form of abuse and I strongly believe in the independence and integrity of the justice system,” he said.

“I well understand my original comments may well have caused disquiet for some victims of abuse and of course I sustain my apology in [sic] for any upset caused to victims of sexual offences.

“I do not intend to comment further or respond to interview questions on this until the justice process is concluded.”