LETTER: Concerns raised about Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan
In the last few weeks, the Express has received a number of letters concerning Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan. This is what some of our readers had to say - and how Mr Khan responded.
Lorraine Morgan, St John’s, Wakefield:
I am writing to let you know about my serious concerns regarding our constituency MP Imran Khan.
I am not the only Wakefield constituent who is dismayed and appalled at Mr Khan’s inability to answer emails. This has been apparent since he took office.
Mr Khan has been elected by the people of Wakefield to represent us in Parliament. This is not happening.
Many of his constituents emailed recently regarding Dominic Cummings.
We are still awaiting his comments. May be you could ask him why he has not responded other than a standard holding email?
Charles Elliot, Crofton:
I was astounded but not surprised to read Imran Ahmad Khan MP’s comments in a recent issue.
He deserves ten out of ten for his valiant support for his political leader and his chief political adviser, but he deserves 0 out of ten for his support for the people of Wakefield for putting party politics ahead of us here.
For us to cope and come out of this pandemic there has to be trust in our leaders and it has to be clearly seen we are all in this together.
Sadly the prime minister’s risible arguments and actions in his support of his political adviser has severely damaged this.
To then try and put forward the nation’s overwhelming concern about this as just politics by remainers shows he is just playing political games himself and takes us for fools.
Of course he well knows, as the nation does, that some of his party’s ardent Brexiteers have been appalled by what Dominic Cummings has done and then the risible justifications by the prime minister and his acolytes.
I am sure the prime minister will suitably reward his very loyal MP: but will Wakefield do the same in the next general election?
John Payling, Wakefield:
I wonder how many of his constituents are in agreement with our MP’s support for Cummings?
Personally I am disgusted and outraged at his behaviour in flouting the lockdown rules by driving to Durham and Barnard Castle with his wife and family at the height of the pandemic.
His unapologetic and self satisfied press conference was a grotesque insult to all those people who have followed the rules, often at great personal and especially emotional cost.
As prime minister, Boris Johnson’s behaviour is equally reprehensible.
His failure to sack Cummings reeks of elitism and exceptionalism and reveals a man totally devoid of moral fibre and integrity.
Imran Ahmad Khan’s support for Cummings places him firmly among the mealy-mouthed sycophants (including most cabinet members) toeing the party line and repeating ad nauseum that Cummings did nothing wrong.
Imran Ahmad Khan, MP:
I would like to thank the Wakefield Express for granting me this right of reply. It allows me to state on the record that the accusations presented here are false.
In direct response specifically to Lorraine Morgan:
We have two records of Ms Morgan’s emails – one on January 14 and one on May 25.
We received her first email on Tuesday January 14 at 19:58. I read the email on the morning of the 15th and I sent Ms Morgan a considered reply at 18:22 on Saturday January 18.
I still am a new MP and I am still setting up my Wakefield office and recruiting staff.
This is a process that has been delayed and interrupted, as much of my focus and energy has been exercised in support and help of my constituency after the damage and destruction suffered by hundreds of my constituents following Storm Ciara, two major fires and the present, all-consuming coronavirus emergency.
If I, or a member of my team has missed an email, then I will accept responsibility and take it squarely on the chin.
In such an event I will correct the situation and continue to devote myself the best I can in support of each and every constituent.
It is evident that in the case of Ms Morgan’s email of January 14 there exists no reasonable cause for complaint. Ms Morgan’s second accusation is in reference to the prime minister’s advisor.
In response to this second accusation I will make three statements:
Firstly, it is not true that I did not respond or make public comments regarding Dominic Cummings.
On the contrary, I was the subject of an interview in this very paper published online on Tuesday May 26 and distributed physically on Thursday 28.
Secondly, I have not been ‘in hiding’ nor have I been ignoring emails.
I have taken time to ensure all available facts have been reasonably considered by me.
Further, I have read each and every email sent to me to date regarding Dominic Cummings personally.
These emails constitute a mixture of opinions, supporting and criticising the prime minister’s advisor and I have transmitted the criticism privately and robustly through the appropriate channels.
Thirdly, many of you will know, because I have stated on my website and in other communications, that during this time of national emergency which sees me receive hundreds of emails most days, I am forced to prioritise constituency casework relating to emergency and time-critical cases involving life and limb, employment, business and security matters.
I trust you will accept that this is the most responsible and reasonable course of action I could possibly take. Every confirmed constituent will receive a response.
This prompts me to ask my constituents that when you do email me please include your name and address otherwise a further burden is added to my small team as we then have to write back to you to ask for your name and address.
Only then can I take up your cases – strict parliamentary protocol prevents me in most instances from representing the constituents of other MPs.
My focus has been so tightly trained on Wakefield that I have only accepted media requests since Storm Ciara from local outlets so as to permit all my energies to be directed on supporting the local area and Wakefield constituency.
I have rejected requests from BBC Newsnight, Politics Live, Good Morning Britain, C4 News and many others as I seek no distractions and no national fame.
I have been spending my time and efforts in making representations across Government to ensure support for our local NHS, Wakefield Council, Wakefield business, Wakefield employees and the self-employed.
I have successfully repatriated every constituent that has contacted me from all corners of the globe.
I have held regular business support and continuity sessions with Wakefield’s business community and I have reached out to our charity and voluntary sector to seek to support them at this tough time.
I have been in frequent contact with Martin Barkley, the chief executive of the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
I have supported our local NHS in every way I can, sourcing 120,000 pieces of PPE worth hundreds of thousands of pounds which I had delivered and donated at no cost to Pinderfields.
I established my coronavirus emergency helpline which is manned every day seven days a week between noon and 8pm to take your calls and provide the vulnerable with assistance.
And every week I have written a newsletter which you may subscribe to via my website.
My work at this time, when there is so much need in Wakefield, has been resolutely centred on our local area.