British MP Nigel Evans says rape and sexual assault claims 'completely false'

Tuesday 07 May 2013 13.58
Nigel Evans was arrested over alleged rape and sexual assault
Nigel Evans was arrested over alleged rape and sexual assault

A deputy speaker of the British House of Commons has said allegations of rape and sexual assault made against him "are completely false".

Conservative MP Nigel Evans was released on police bail last night, following his arrest by Lancashire Police yesterday.

He 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 said he knew the men and could not understand why the complaints had been made.

He has been bailed until 19 June.

Reading from a prepared statement outside his home this morning, the 55-year-old said:

"Yesterday, I was interviewed by the police concerning two complaints, one of which dates back four years, made by two people who are well known to each other and until yesterday, I regarded as friends.

"The complaints are completely false and I cannot understand why they have been made, especially as I have continued to socialise with one as recently as last week.

"I appreciate the way the police have handled this in such a sensitive manner and I would like to thank my colleagues, friends and members of the public who have expressed their support and, like me, a sense of incredulity at these events. Thank you very much," he added.

He did not answer any questions from reporters after making the statement.

His solicitor Adrian Yalland said Mr Evans is not intending to stand down, either as deputy speaker or as an MP.

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.

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.