Just minutes ago, Crispin Blunt finally deleted his statement defending Imran Ahmad Khan, following an ultimatum from the party this morning. All it took was that and a meltdown in his local association and the threat of losing the whip, with Tory sources this morning warning:
“Crispin’s views are wholly unacceptable. Following exchanges late last night we expect the statement to be retracted first thing this morning”
Now the tweet and full length statement calling Khan’s sex crimes “minor” have gone, with no apology or follow-up statement yet to appear.
UPDATE: Blunt offers something approaching an apology and offers his resignation as chair of the LGBT+ APPG
“On reflection I have decided to retract my statement defending Imran Ahmad Khan. I am sorry that my defence of him has been a cause of significant upset and concern not least to victims of sexual offences. It was not my intention to do this.
To be clear I do not condone any form of abuse and I strongly believe in the independence and integrity of the justice system.
It is a particularly difficult time for LGBT+ rights across the world and my statement risks distracting the APPG for Global LGBT+ Rights from its important purpose. I have today offered the officers my resignation so a new Chair can be found to continue the work of the group with full force.”