Imran Nasir Ahmad Khan (born 6 September 1973) is a British Conservative Party politician who has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Wakefield since the 2019 general election. He is a supporter of Brexit and attributes his election to Wakefield voters' support for leaving the European Union in 2016.
Ahmad Khan previously worked for the United Nations as special assistant for political affairs in Mogadishu and as a senior consultant for M&C Saatchi.
Early life and career
Imran attended Silcoates School in Wakefield. He studied Russian language at Pushkin Institute in Moscow, and earned a bachelor's degree in war studies at King's College London.
He has worked for the United Nations as special assistant for political affairs in Mogadishu and has also worked as a senior consultant for advertising agency, M&C Saatchi.[better source needed] Having worked as a counter-terrorism expert prior to becoming an MP, he joked his experience in conflict zones such as Somalia and Afghanistan gives him what would be needed to build bridges between warring parties in the Brexit battle.
Member of Parliament
Ahmad Khan defeated incumbent Labour MP Mary Creagh, becoming the first Conservative MP for the constituency in 87 years. Proclaiming himself not to be a career politician, he told The Yorkshire Post: "I've never stood for any public office, not even so much as municipal dog catcher". However, he decided to stand after seeing the seeds in Britain of the loss of democracy he had seen abroad. Wakefield voted almost 2-to-1 in favour of leaving the European Union in the 2016 referendum and was a target seat for the Conservatives.
He was selected following the withdrawal of a previous candidate after racist and sexist social media posts were discovered. Labour's incumbent MP Creagh said: "Will the next candidate they parachute in be any better? Don’t hold your breath." Ahmad Khan responded to this by taking part in a skydive over the town and retorted he was "a local lad born and bred in Wakefield, of Wakefield stock. I couldn't figuratively parachute in—and I didn't want to disappoint her—so I decided I would literally parachute in."
The LGBT+ Conservatives group had incorrectly described Ahmad Khan as 'openly gay', and he made news worldwide for allegedly becoming the first openly gay Muslim to be elected. They subsequently issued a clarification and the statement read that Ahmad Khan "fully endorses" the group's aims of protecting the LGBT community, "but is not an out LGBT MP". The confusion arose after a mistaken application to a fund dedicated towards helping LGBT+ Conservative candidates.
In his maiden speech in January 2020, Ahmad Khan paid tribute to his predecessor and spoke of his pleasure at being part of "a vibrant and dynamic pack of Yorkshire MPs". He called for equality of opportunity needs to be made real and more patriotism: "I see perhaps more clearly than most the deep and enduring importance of core British values such as compassion, tolerance and fairness, especially at a time when those values are perceived as under threat in many parts of our world."
Ahmad-Khan organised shipment of 110,000 reusable face masks through his connections with charity Solidarités international and the Vietnamese Government. The majority of the masks, 100,000, was provided to Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to be distributed to three local hospitals the trust covers: Pontefract Hospital, Pinderfields Hospital and Dewsbury and District Hospital, with a further 10,000 masks to be distributed by the trust to local care homes and hospices.
He also launched an initiative called 'Wakefield Together' to co-ordinate local efforts to tackle difficulties arising from coronavirus.
Ahmad-Khan is an advocate of Britain's departure from the European Union. In an interview with Channel 4 following his election, he attributed his success during the 2019 general election to "Islington Remainers" who had branded Leave voters "stupid, uneducated, racist or wrong".
Yorkshire Devolution Movement
Ahmad-Khan is a supporter of Yorkshire Devolution Movement and had called for new devolved West Yorkshire authority to be based in Wakefield. In 2020 Budget revealed by chancellor Rishi Sunak, West Yorkshire is set to receive a £1.8bn devolution deal, with a £317m investment in transport and the election of a West Yorkshire Mayor.
Imran Ahmad Khan was born in Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield and describes himself as a "Proud Yorkshireman".
His late father, Dr Saeed Ahmad Khan, was a medical doctor and was born in the North-West Frontier Province of what was then British India (modern day Pakistan). His father, at the time Wakefield's only consultant dermatologist, worked at Pinderfields Hospital. His mother is English and a State Registered Nurse and midwife. His grandmother, Joyce Reynolds, was a Staff Sister at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. His grandfather was a miner.
He has two brothers: Karim Ahmad Khan QC is a barrister specialising in international human rights law, and appointed Assistant Secretary General of the U.N. in 2018 by the United Nations Security Council to lead an investigation into alleged crimes committed by Da'esh/ISIL in Iraq. Khalid Ahmad Khan is a lawyer based in Oman who was winner of the Middle East General Counsel of the Year award in 2017, and was named one of the most influential in-house lawyers in the Middle East in Legal 500's GC Powerlist: Middle East 2019.
Imran is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia