Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Deputy Speaker denies sex claims

Nigel Evans has been arrested on suspicion of three further offences of indecent assault

Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans has continued to deny sex crime allegations after being questioned by police over fresh claims.

The 55-year-old was already facing allegations of rape and sexual assault, and when he answered police bail he was re-arrested over a further three counts of indecent assault.

Speaking outside Preston police station, the Swansea-born Tory MP said: "Clearly we want closure of this as soon as possible and I carry on assisting this inquiry fully and openly.

"I continue to refute all allegations, and in the meantime can I say that I'm extremely grateful for the huge amount of support and love that I have received from my family, my friends and my constituents, and indeed people throughout the country who have contacted me."

He was released on bail until September 10 pending further inquiries. All of the allegations involve men in their 20s.

Mr Evans was initially arrested in May over alleged rape and sexual assault said to have happened in Pendleton between July 2009 and March 2013.

The new indecent assault allegations are claimed to have occurred in Blackpool and London between 2003 and 2011.

A Lancashire police spokesman said: "A 55-year-old man from Pendleton in Lancashire has today answered his bail following his arrest in May on suspicion of rape and sexual assault. He has subsequently been further arrested on suspicion of three further offences of indecent assault.

"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."

Last month Mr Evans dismissed the original allegations against him as "completely false", and said they had been made by two people he had "regarded as friends". The Commons Deputy Speaker has stepped aside from his duties in that role since his arrest, but has continued to work as an MP.

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