A Tory MP has appeared in court to deny sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.
Imran Ahmad Khan, 48, who represents Wakefield in West Yorkshire, has been suspended by the Conservative Party.
He appeared on Friday from his lawyers’ office by video link at the Old Bailey, where he faces a single count of sexual assault against the then teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in Staffordshire in January 2008.
The charge put to him by the court clerk states: “You intentionally touched (the complainant), the circumstances being that the touching was sexual, (he) did not consent to it, and you did not reasonably believe that (he) consented.”
Ahmad Khan, dressed in a dark three-piece suit, white shirt, and tie, sat next to his solicitor, speaking to confirm his name before pleading not guilty.
He has previously issued a denial to the allegation “in the strongest terms”.
The Recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft QC, said the trial will be held before High Court judge Mrs Justice McGowan, although a date has not yet been set.
Ahmad Khan, who is on unconditional bail, is next expected to appear in court for a further case management hearing in front of the trial judge at a date to be fixed next month.
The Conservatives have previously said the whip had been suspended from Ahmad Khan, meaning he sits as an independent in the Commons.
The MP, from Wakefield, helped Boris Johnson win a large Commons majority by taking the constituency in the so-called “red wall” that formed Labour’s heartlands in the Midlands and the north of England.