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Alex McIntyre,BBC News, West Midlands

UK Parliament Julian KnightUK Parliament

Julian Knight was suspended by the Conservatives following allegations of sexual assault

A former Conservative MP who was suspended from the party over allegations of sexual assault has announced he will stand as an independent in the election.

Julian Knight confirmed on X, formerly Twitter, that he would contest the newly created Solihull West and Shirley seat.

He was the Tory MP for Solihull from 2015 until 2022 when he lost the party whip as a result of police investigations into the allegations.

Both the Metropolitan Police and Essex Police have since dropped their investigations into Mr Knight, who denied the alleged offences.

In April 2023, after the investigations were dropped, Knight said he would be standing down at the next election, claiming that his name had been “tarnished”.

He continued to sit as an independent until Parliament was dissolved this week.

In his post on X on Friday, Mr Knight said he made the decision to stand again following discussions with his family, Conservative party members and constituents.

“Solihull deserves more than a whips-appointed candidate who doesn’t get the issues,” he said.

Local issues

“It’s important that having been forced out of the party after an entirely false allegation, which is now being investigated by police for perversion of the course of justice, it’s important to make a stand.

“People should not lose their position because of a false allegation.”

He said he would be campaigning on local issues.

Other candidates standing in Solihull include:

  • Ade Adeyemo for the Liberal Democrats
  • Deirdre Fox for the Labour Party
  • Mary Ann McKenna for Reform UK

A full list of candidates will be published by the BBC after nominations close on 7 June.

Election graphic

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