Accused MP quits as deputy speaker

Nigel Evans
Nigel Evans

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has been charged with a series of sex offences against seven men.

Director of public prosecution Keir Starmer, QC, confirmed last week that the 55-year-old Conservative MP – whose constituency takes in Farington, Lostock Hall, Gregson Lane and Bamber Bridge – is accused of eight offences in total – two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one rape count.

He will appear before magistrates in Preston today, Wednesday.

He resigned as Commons Deputy Speaker, after the Crown Prosecution Service said he would face charges.

Mr Evans had been earlier arrested on suspicion of two more allegations of indecent assault.

He was taken in for questioning at Preston police station eight days ago, after he turned up to answer bail following previous arrests for rape, sexual assault and three indecent assaults.

The latest allegations are indecent assault and touching, and said to have occurred in London between 2002 and 2009.

It brings the total allegations against the MP to seven.

All of the alleged victims are men in their 20s.

Mr Evans arrived at Preston police station in a silver Jaguar XF driven by his solicitor.

He smiled and said “thanks for coming” to members of the press who had gathered outside.

In a statement to MP colleagues last week, Mr Evans vowed to “robustly defend” himself and said: “I would like to thank everyone who has shown me such compassionate consideration.”

He has stood down as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons while court proceedings are active.