Former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans has told a jury it is “ridiculous” that he is being depicted as “a cross between Alan Clark, Benny Hill and Oscar Wilde”.
The 56-year-old is on trial over allegations that he sexually abused seven young men on various dates between 2002 and last year by using his “powerful” political influence to take advantage of them, often while drunk.
Today, Evans was cross-examined on the nine separate allegations he faces by prosecutor Mark Heywood QC in often heated exchanges.
He told Preston Crown Court that the claims against him had effectively ended any ambitions of him becoming Speaker of the House of Commons.
Referring to the first two allegations that, while in public, he placed his hand in the trousers of men, Mr Heywood asked him: “There is evidence in each of these two incidents that what took place was without any eye contact. Was this you using hands where words were not available to you?”
Evans replied: “No. It is trying to make me out to be a cross between Alan Clark (the late Tory politician), Benny Hill and Oscar Wilde.
“It’s ridiculous. The answer is no.”
The gay MP said he had no recollection of the two events - one said to have taken place in a bar in London’s Soho in late 2002 or early 2003 and the other at the 2003 Conservative Party conference in Blackpool.
The jury has heard that Evans was celibate for a long period until he began actively seeking sexual relationships from 2000.
He denied he had made a pass in the two alleged instances and also when with a young man on his first visit to the Houses of Parliament in the summer of 2009.
Evans is alleged to have leaned forward to kiss the man behind a curtain near the Strangers Bar.
The MP said: “I think it goes from the bizarre to the bunkum that I would take someone, close the curtains and then do something like that.”
Mr Heywood said: “You were beckoning him to come here, pull the curtain back and you wanted to kiss him for a sexual purpose?”
Evans replied: “No. It’s ridiculous beyond belief.”
Next the MP was asked about the allegations that he “cupped” the genitals of another man shortly after being introduced to him in the Strangers Bar.
Evans said: “With several people watching? No.”
The prosecutor went on: “You, Nigel Evans, leaned forward and cupped his genitals.”
The MP said: “Do you appreciate how absurd that sounds?”
Mr Heywood replied: “It is better you do not ask questions from here, Mr Evans.”
Evans has also denied sexually assaulting a Westminster worker in a darkened kitchen near his then deputy speaker’s offices last March.
Mr Heywood said: “You put your hands all over him. You pushed him against the wall, you tried to kiss him.
Evans said: “No, it did not happen.”
Mr Heywood said: “The reason is quite simple - that by now you had reached the stage that you wanted to practise your sexuality with anyone you could achieve it with.”
Evans responded: “In the kitchen of the Ways and Means corridor? No.”
Referring to an excerpt from one of his police interviews in which he said he had been “in the frame” to be the next Commons Speaker, Evans said: “The reality to me is what has happened to me is that I will not be the Speaker of the House of Commons.”
He has pleaded not guilty to one rape, two indecent assaults, five sexual assaults and one attempted sexual assault