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Nigel Evans: sex case makes me look like Benny Hill

By Kim Pilling

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.

Yesterday, Evans was cross-examined on the nine separate allegations he denies 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.

Questioned about two allegations that, while in public, he placed his hand in the trousers of men, Evans denied the accusation, saying: "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."

Later, referring to an excerpt from a 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."

Evans has pleaded not guilty to one rape, two indecent assaults, five sexual assaults and one attempted sexual assault.

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