Yesterday evening a senior Conservative MP sparked fierce criticism after he referred to the conviction of a fellow MP for sexual assault as “nothing short of an international scandal”.

Yesterday Southwark Crown Court found Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan guilty of sexually assaulting a 15 year-old boy.

He denied the charge.

The conviction relates to an attack at a Staffordshire house in 2008, where he allegedly forced the victim to drink alcohol and view pornography before assaulting him.

Blunt, chair of the APPG on global LGBT+ rights, claimed that Ahmad Khan’s conviction had “dreadful wider implications for millions of LGBT+ Muslims around the world.”

Blunt’s statement has now been deleted from his website.

He did not cite any evidence to suggest why he thought the conviction was erroneous.

MPs Chris Bryant, Stewart McDonald and Joanna Cherry have all resigned from the APPG in protest of Blunt’s leadership, and have called for him to step down from the role.

Bryant has also called for the Conservative party to withdraw the whip from Blunt.

Armed forces minister James Heappey stressed in an interview with Sky News’ Breakfast programme today that the government “distances itself” from Blunt’s remarks.

When pressed on whether he thought Blunt would retract the remarks, Heappey said: “I don’t know because I have no idea what it is that Crispin is referring to in the comments that he has said.

“All I know is that in a court of law yesterday Mr Khan was found guilty and I think everyone of us who believes in the judicial system and the rule of law has to respect that judgement.

“I think it is for Crispin to account for his words but it is not something the Government associates itself with.”

Heappey also refused to say whether Blunt would have the whip withdrawn.

A Conservative party spokesperson said yesterday evening that: ““A jury of Mr Khan’s peers has found him guilty of a criminal offence. We completely reject any allegations of impropriety against our independent judiciary, the jury or Mr Khan’s victim.”

The Wakefield MP has been suspended from the Conservative party since June 2021 when it was revealed he was set to stand trial.

If handed a custodial sentence more than 12 months Ahmad Khan will be removed from the House of Commons.

He could also face a recall petition to oust him as the Conservative MP in his local constituency which would trigger a by-election.