Just when the Tories hoped their expulsion of Imran Ahmad Khan from the party following his guilty sentencing this afternoon would end this latest chapter in party scandal, along came fellow MP Crispin Blunt. A few hours ago Blunt published a jaw-dropping statement in defence of Khan, in which he claimed elements of the proceedings were homophobic and said he hopes “for the return of Imran Ahmad Khan to the public service that has exemplified his life to date.” His statement has already resulted in three of Blunt’s colleagues on the APPG for LGBT+ rights resigning.
This evening Guido can reveal Blunt’s statement has outraged his local party, sparking a furious row in a local WhatsApp chat which Blunt has now quit. Crispin pre-announced his statement, which was greeted by demands for further clarity over his claim the result was a “miscarriage of justice”. Another chimed in asking their MP, “Do we really want to defend someone like this?? I agree with you completely [first incredulous responder]”.
With his back against the wall, Blunt came out with the following two messages:
”As one detail you might like to reflect on the investigating officer in 2008 noted “this was not a sexual assault” There is so much more , that will hopefully ensure his appeal succeeds”
“I am deliberately giving a counter narrative to ask people to allow the appeal to take place before his reputation is wholly beyond recall, as everyone has rushed to judgement. I am adamant he should not have been charged, far less convicted 14 years after an event that was minor or any scale.
I’m Sorry but this was a rotten day for British justice and I will stand up for truth as I see it before me.”
A councillor replied that while he didn’t doubt Blunt’s “sincere intentions”, “please think of your local association and Council colleagues who will have to answer to your actions on the doorstep – even more so if any appeal is quashed”.
When an irritated Blunt retorted with, “please don’t presume to lecture me on my competing responsibilities, I am well aware of them”, the councillor shot back with this devastating response:
Blue on blue just before the local elections – no doubt exactly what CCHQ wanted to see this evening…
UPDATE: Tory source tells Guido “Crispin’s views are wholly unacceptable. Following exchanges late last night we expect the statement to be retracted first thing this morning.” Tick tock…