How veteran MP Crispin Blunt has never been far from the headlines

When David Cameron’s coalition government dropped its pledge to grant anonymity to alleged rapists in 2010, it was the then-prisons minister Crispin Blunt who made the announcement.

Following a backlash from campaigners, the veteran Conservative MP, 63, said the government was backing down because the move could have stopped more victims from coming forward or other offences coming to light.

Although he was reshuffled two years later and never returned to government, Mr Blunt, the uncle of the Mary Poppins actress Emily Blunt, has rarely been far from the headlines.

Last year he said he was “distraught” when a fellow Tory MP was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy, provoking uproar among parliamentarians.

Southwark Crown Court heard that Wakefield’s Imran Ahmad Khan forced the teenager to drink gin and tonic before pushing him on to a bunk bed, asking him to watch pornography, and touching his feet and legs.





Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan was convicted of sexual assault


Credit: DOMINIC LIPINSKY/PA

Mr Blunt defended the convicted paedophile after the verdict, saying: “I am utterly appalled and distraught at the dreadful miscarriage of justice that has befallen my friend and colleague Imran Ahmad Khan.”

He later backed away from the comments, saying: “I am sorry that my defence of him has been a cause of significant upset and concern, not least to victims of sexual offences.

“To be clear I do not condone any form of abuse and I strongly believe in the independence and integrity of the justice system.”

Mr Blunt, who was arrested on Thursday in possession of “controlled substances”, has also been a frequent critic of Britain’s war on drugs and believes the country is being left behind in the “psychedelic renaissance”.





Mr Blunt’s house on Thursday night


Credit: JACQUELINE LAWRIE

Interviewed in July, the former Royal Hussars officer argued for the legalisation of magic mushrooms, claiming they should be a “twopenny-halfpenny drug” and that there were “no arguments against it of any merit at all”.

Mr Blunt separated from his wife, Victoria, in 2010 after 20 years of marriage when he came out as gay. The couple have a son, Freddy, and a daughter, Claudia, together.

At the time, a statement released by his office read: “He decided to come to terms with his homosexuality and explained the position to his family.”

‘Duty to speak’

The Reigate MP raised eyebrows in 2016 when he spoke about his use of poppers in a Parliamentary debate.

“Sometimes when something is proposed that becomes personal to you, and you realise the government is about to do something fantastically stupid, in those circumstances one has a duty to speak,” he said of a proposed ban.

“I use poppers, I out myself as a popper user, and would be directly affected by this legislation. I’m astonished to find it’s proposing to be banned, and frankly so would I think many other gay men.”

Criminalising the muscle relaxants, he added, “might put me into the hands of the criminals to get my supply”.

Earlier this month, Mr Blunt, a former chairman of the foreign affairs committee, suggested that Britain could be complicit in “war crimes” that Israel is supposedly committing in Gaza.

The co-director of a Palestinian rights organisation, Mr Blunt suggested Israel was breaching international law when it warned the 1.2 million people living in the Gaza Strip to move south before a ground invasion.

He told Sky News: “If you know that a party is going to commit a war crime – and this forcible transfer of people is a precise breach of one of the statutes that governs international law and all states in this area – then you are making yourself complicit.

“And as international law has developed in this area, the fact of being complicit makes you equally guilty to the party carrying out the crime.”

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