Jury sworn in to try Tory MP accused of groping teenage boy in Staffordshire

Jurors sworn in to try a Tory MP accused of groping a 15-year-old boy 14 years ago have been asked if they have “strong political views”.

Imran Ahmad Khan (pictured), 48, who represents Wakefield in West Yorkshire, denies a single charge of sexual assault against the then-teenager in Staffordshire in January 2008.

The MP is standing trial at Southwark Crown Court, with the case expected to last for up to three weeks.

During the jury selection process, High Court judge Mr Justice Baker said: “The accused in the case you are going to try is Imran Khan, and he happens to be a serving MP for the Conservative Party.

“I am going to ask you two questions.

“Firstly: do any of you have sufficiently strong political views that you would be unable to try the case, involving as I have said an MP who is a member of the Conservative Party, fairly?

“And secondly: are any of you or members of your close family employees of any of the political parties in this country?”

Khan, who is on unconditional bail, stood in the dock to confirm his name before a jury of eight women and four men were sworn in to try the case.

They were told the MP has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of sexual assault with the allegation being he “intentionally touched” the complainant and that the “touching was sexual”.

The complainant, who cannot be identified, “did not consent” and Khan did not believe he “consented”, according to the charge.

Khan, from Wakefield, helped Prime Minister Boris Johnson win a large Commons majority in 2019 by taking the constituency in the so-called “red wall” that had previously formed Labour’s heartlands in the Midlands and the north of England.

He is on unconditional bail.

The prosecution is expected to open the case later on Tuesday.

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