The Conservative Party chairman of a parliament LGBT+ group has resigned after defending a ‘friend and colleague’ convicted of child sex abuse.
Conservative Party MP Crispin Blunt has resigned his position as the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT+ Rights after denouncing the conviction of a fellow Conservative MP for child sex abuse.
Imran Ahmed Khan was convicted on Monday afternoon — by verdict of a jury — of sexually assaulting a teenage boy in 2008, a verdict which Blunt initially claimed to have been a “dreadful miscarriage of justice”.
According to a post by The Observer’s Sonia Sodha, Blunt claimed in a now taken down statement that the conviction of Khan was based on “lazy tropes”, and that he was “appalled and distraught” at what he called a “miscarriage of justice”.
Men who sexually abuse children are often adept at deploying accusations of bigotry and bias to rob their victims of voice. I’m appalled to see an MP doing this in defence of a convicted child sex offender, in plain sight. pic.twitter.com/43B2iOUCga
— Sonia Sodha (@soniasodha) April 12, 2022
“The conduct of this case relied on lazy tropes about LGBT+ people that we might have thought were had put behind us decades ago,” the Conservative Party member said in a statement initially put online.
“His conviction today is nothing short of an international scandal, with dreadful wider implications for millions of LGBT+ muslims throughout the world,” the long-time transgender advocate also wrote.
Blunt has since changed his tone however after being widely condemned for his statement, with one commentator remarking that it was “shameless expressions of identity politics in British political history”, and has since withdrawn his criticism of the jury and resigned from his position as the LGBT+ group chairman.
“On reflection I have decided to retract my statement defending Imran Ahmad Khan,” the disgraced MP wrote online. “I am sorry that my defence of him has been a cause of significant upset and concern not least to victims of sexual offences.”
“To be clear I do not condone any form of abuse and I strongly believe in the independence and integrity of the justice system,” he added.
MP Imran Ahmad Khan Expelled From Conservative Part After Being Found Guilty of Sex Assault on Boy https://t.co/0IqdiR4eqw
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 11, 2022
Crispin Blunt’s actions appear to have caused chaos for gay and trans rights activists in Westminster, with The Guardian reporting his defence of Khan resulted in at least three other MPs resigning from his All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT+ Rights.
It may also result in further pressure being put on the Conservative Party at a time when Boris Johnson and his government really do not need it, with it just being announced that both the Prime Minister himself — as well as his embattled tax-hiking Chancellor of the Exchequer — are both to be handed fines for their roles in the “Partygate” scandal which saw government officials break Chinese Coronavirus lockdown rules.
“Crispin Blunt’s statement was abhorrent,” said leftist Labour Party leader Keir Starmer on the issue. “And I would have liked to have seen the government be really hard on this, to come out fast and condemn this.”
“It was abhorrent for [Crispin Blunt] to put out a statement like that, and I would have expected the Conservative Party to be much, much harder about this and much clearer about this, and I haven’t seen that clarity,” he continued.
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This content was originally published here.