‘No job or political career is worth this’: Senior MP Julian Knight to quit at next general election after failing to get Tory whips to remove his suspension as he delivers fresh blast at dropped sexual assault claim
- Solihull MP Julian Knight will not again contest the West Midlands constituency
Senior MP Julian Knight today announced will stand down at the next general election after failing to have the Tory whip restored.
The 51-year-old, who has been MP for Solihull since 2015, will not again contest the West Midlands constituency the next time the country goes to the polls.
Mr Knight claimed he and his wife had suffered ‘the worst year of our lives’ since a ‘false and malicious accusation’ was made against him.
He also delivered a fresh blast at the Tory whips’ office for refusing to remove his suspension when police dropped a serious sexual assault allegation.
In ending his bid to have the Conservative whip restored, Mr Knight confirmed he would spend the rest of his days in Parliament as an independent MP.
He will also relinquish his chairmanship of the House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, which is a party position.
Solihull MP Julian Knight claimed he and his wife had suffered ‘the worst year of our lives’ since a ‘false and malicious accusation’ was made against him
Mr Knight will relinquish his chairmanship of the House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee, which is a party position
In a strongly-worded statement published on his social media accounts today, Mr Knight took aim at the whips’ office for providing ‘no details’ of further allegations
The Metropolitan Police received an allegation of serious sexual assault last October while, in December, a further referral relating to the incident was made and an investigation into Mr Knight was launched.
Scotland Yard confirmed last month they were no longer proceeding with an investigation and no arrests had been made.
But the Tories swiftly announced they would not be returning the whip to Mr Knight, which had been suspended in December, due to ‘further complaints’.
In a strongly-worded statement published on his social media accounts today, Mr Knight took aim at the whips’ office for providing ‘no details’ of the allegations.
‘The past year has been for my wife and I the worst of our lives,’ he said.
‘The false and malicious accusation brought against me last December did untold damage to my physical and mental well being as well as causing pain and distress to my loved ones.
‘When the police finally exonerated me, without ever needing to interview me, I believed the nightmare was over. It seemed that justice, although delayed, had prevailed.
‘However, the whips’ office immediately made a statement about unspecified further complaints which, tarnished my name and left my family and me in limbo.
‘Over the past month I have tried to discover the nature of these allegations so that I could deny them, since I know I am guilty of no wrongdoing.
‘However, no details nor timeline has been forthcoming from the whips’ office. I stress I am not under any sort of formal investigation by any Parliamentary authority.
‘Nevertheless, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that no job or political career is worth this.
‘I will not be requesting the return of the Conservative whip. I do this in sorrow and not in anger.’
Mr Knight added he would, in due course, be ‘taking legal advice over whether I should follow up on the police’s recent invitation to register a criminal complaint regarding December’s false and malicious accusation’.
A spokeswoman for the Tory whips’ office said they would not be commenting.
Mr Knight’s role as DCMS committee chair had been filled by Tory former Cabinet minister Damian Green while Mr Knight stayed away from Parliament during the police investigation.
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