British politician arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault is released on bail

Sunday 05 May 2013 08.37
Nigel Evans is alleged to have raped one man and sexually assaulted another between July 2009 and March 2013
Nigel Evans is alleged to have raped one man and sexually assaulted another between July 2009 and March 2013

Britain's deputy House of Commons Speaker and Conservative MP Nigel Evans, who was arrested on suspicion of rape, has been released on bail.

Mr Evans, 55, is alleged to have raped one man and sexually assaulted another between July 2009 and March 2013.

Both alleged victims are in their 20s.

Mr Evans has been bailed until 19 June.

It is understood that British Prime Minister David Cameron has been made aware of today's arrest.

Mr Evans has been MP for the Lancashire constituency since 1992.

A popular figure at Westminster, in June 2010 he was elected as one of the three Commons deputy speakers.

Later that year, he came out as gay saying that he was "tired of living a lie".

When he came out, Mr Evans told the Mail on Sunday that he been threatened with exposure by political opponents.

Mr Evans was vice chairman of the Conservative Party from 1999 to 2001.

When Iain Duncan Smith became party leader in 2001, he was promoted to the shadow cabinet as shadow Welsh secretary - a post he held for two years.

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: "A 55-year-old man from Pendleton in Lancashire has today, Saturday, May 4 2013, been arrested by Lancashire Constabulary on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.

"The man will be interviewed at a police station in Lancashire during the course of the day. The offences are alleged to have been committed in Pendleton between July 2009 and March 2013.

"We take all allegations of a sexual nature extremely seriously and understand how difficult it can be for victims to have the confidence to come forward.

"As a constabulary, we are committed to investigating sexual offences sensitively but robustly recognising the impact that these types of crimes have on victims.

"We would encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse, or who has information about it, to have the confidence to report it to us knowing that we will take it seriously, deal with it sensitively and investigate it thoroughly."