Politics

Tory MP convicted of ‘staff bullied’ sexual assault for years – POLITICO


A Tory MP convicted of sexual assault this week had a history of ‘bullying behaviour’ towards staff and ‘should never have been chosen to run for Parliament’, according to several former staff and party colleagues who claim to have had longstanding relationships. concerns about the behavior of Imran Ahmad Khan.

The case puts further pressure on the Conservative Party over its process of vetting MPs and how it handles complaints from staff, following recent stories about another Tory MP in The Sunday Times.

On Monday, Khan was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008, a verdict he said he would appeal. He initially vowed to remain an MP while he fights the conviction, but resigned on Thursday after being contacted about allegations of intimidation.

Two former staffers said Khan frequently yelled and yelled at his employees, leaving them in distress. A recording of a rant in which he berated his team for almost two hours has been shared with POLITICO.

An aide was declared ill after being bullied, according to colleagues, and therefore quit politics. Another staff member said their treatment led to panic attacks and the use of anti-anxiety medication.

Khan employed several young men who had recently graduated and whom he could “bully”, said two former staff members and a party official, while he was “misogynistic” in his behavior towards women. Parliamentary records show it had a high turnover of staff, with workers rarely lasting more than a few months.

After Khan was charged with sexual assault, he discussed the details of the case with his office. A recording of this conversation was shared with POLITICO. Khan called the victim politically motivated and members of the judiciary “biased”. He offered to invite a documentary crew to follow him in order to release a film when he clears his name.

Ex-colleagues have also spoken of inappropriate office management. Khan rented a large three-bedroom house in Wakefield as his constituency office, paying extra on top of the taxpayer-funded stipend, and used it to store personal belongings, including beds and other furniture , while aides were “crammed in” in a room incapable of social distancing. He attempted to rent rooms in the Wakefield property, offering them to his staff.

The local party was aware of his behavior but was itself crippled by infighting, members said. Khan was selected to fight the siege of Wakefield in Yorkshire at the last minute after the previous candidate was deselected due to offensive social media posts. He was elected to parliament in 2019.

A party member who worked with Khan raised concerns about his conduct with his employer after he repeatedly yelled at him, and the employer complained to Conservative Party headquarters in March 2021, according to two people close to the file. The complainant stated that he had been assured that the matter had been handled internally.

A party official said he had no record of the complaint and pointed out that vetting processes had been reviewed since 2019.

Staff who say they were bullied by Khan have demanded an investigation into how he was selected in the first place and his behavior went unreported, as well as safeguards to prevent something similar from happening. reproduce. Conservative Party campaign headquarters declined to comment.

“It’s hard not to conclude that there’s something seriously wrong with the vetting process,” said a former staffer. “He should never have been selected.”

Khan had the Tory whip removed after being charged, meaning he was kicked out of the party at Westminster and could only stay in the House of Commons as an independent MP, and was kicked out of the party altogether after have been found guilty. He declined to comment on allegations his former colleagues raised with POLITICO.




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