A Tory MP has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15 year-old boy in 2008.
Imran Ahmad Khan, 47, the Conservative MP for Wakefield, West Yorkshire, is alleged to have groped the teenager in Staffordshire.
He was named on Friday after reporting restrictions were lifted and is now facing trial on a single count of sexual assault against the teenager, who cannot be identified because he is an alleged victim of a sexual offence in 2008.
Khan, who was elected at the 2019 general election, pleaded not guilty while appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video link from his lawyers’ office.
He now faces trial at the Old Bailey on July 15 at 9.30am, and was granted unconditional bail.
Khan was stripped of the Tory whip.
It is understood that he has not visited the parliamentary estate since the charge.
A Tory whips spokesperson said: “Imran Ahmed Khan has had the whip suspended.
“As there is an ongoing court case we will not be commenting further.”
The Crown Prosecution Service said it made the decision to charge after reviewing a file of evidence from Staffordshire Police.
Stressing the need for a fair trial, Rosemary Ainslie of the CPS said: “It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
Khan’s lawyer David Janes said in a statement: “The requisition against our client Imran Khan MP relates to a sole allegation of touching which was allegedly sexual, on a single occasion, said to have taken place in… 2008.
“Our client is shocked that he has been requisitioned with this alleged offence. He strenuously denies the accusation and it will be vigorously defended.”
In a statement released on Friday, Khan 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.”