Imran Ahmad Khan MP will go on trial accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.
Ahmad Khan, 47, is the first Ahmadi to be elected as a British MP. He is the Conservative MP for Wakefield and is alleged to have groped the teenager in Staffordshire.
Ahmad Khan, who was elected at the 2019 general election, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday by video link from his lawyers’ office.
The charge states: “In the county of Staffordshire you intentionally touched a boy aged 15 and that touching was sexual when he did not consent and you did not reasonably believe that he was consenting, contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.”
Asked to indicate a plea to the charge, Ahmad Khan, who was represented by Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, said: “Not guilty.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, the MP further denied the allegation “in the strongest terms”, saying “I am innocent.”
He 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.”
The whip has been suspended from the MP, meaning that he will not be sitting as a Conservative in the Commons.
Ahmad Khan is due to appear on July 15 and the Old Bailey and has been granted unconditional bail until then.
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 in 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.