US Republican Senator Larry Craig is aiming to withdraw his guilty plea after he was arrested in a toilet sex police operation. Police claimed that he had solicited sex from a plainclothes police officer in June.

Craig, who resigned from his position following the scandal surrounding the incident, has claimed that he only entered a guilty plea to the charge of disorderly conduct in an effort to handle the matter “quickly and expeditiously.”

He also said that plainclothes police had misconstrued his actions in the Minneapolis airport toilets where he was arrested.

In papers filed with the court, Craig said that after he was arrested he “felt compelled to grasp the lifeline offered to him by the police officer” by pleading guilty rather than seeking legal advice.

His lawyers added that, “faced with the pressure of an aggressive interrogation and the consequences of public embarrassment, Senator Craig panicked and chose to plead to a crime he did not commit.”

Critics have scoffed at the argument, pointing out that Craig pleaded guilty more than a month after he was first arrested and charged. The Senator has previously been at the centre of rumours about his sexuality. The married Craig has denied that he is gay.

He will have to convince a judge in court in order to reverse the guilty plea.

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