POLITICS

Nigel Evans Re-Arrested On Suspicion Of Indecent Assault

10/09/2013 09:40 BST | Updated 10/09/2013 10:07 BST
PA
Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons and MP for Ribble Valley Nigel Evans prepares to make a statement in Westminster today about his arrest at the weekend.

House of Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans has been re-arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and sexual touching of two further alleged victims.

The 55-year-old had previously been arrested by Lancashire Police on suspicion of rape, sexual assault and three indecent assaults.

The force said today: "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 and in June on suspicion of three further offences of indecent assault.

"He has subsequently today been arrested on suspicion of Indecent assault and sexual touching of two further victims.

"He will be interviewed about these new allegations at a police station in Lancashire during the course of the day.

"These new offences are alleged to have been committed in London between 2002 and 2009."

Evans was initially arrested in May on suspicion of rape and sexual assault said to have happened in Pendleton between July 2009 and March 2013. He was re-arrested in June over a further three counts of indecent assault which are alleged to have happened in Blackpool and London between 2003 and 2011. All of these allegations involve men in their 20s.

He dismissed the original allegations against him as "completely false", and said they had been made by two people he had "regarded as friends".

In June he said: "I continue to refute all allegations."

He has stepped aside from his Speaker duties since his arrest, but has continued to work as a Tory MP.

He was one of three deputy speakers elected in a secret ballot of MPs in 2010. Later that year he came out as gay, saying he was ''tired of living a lie''.

Lancashire Police said: "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."

Evans arrived at Preston police station just before 9am in a silver Jaguar XF driven by his solicitor. He smiled and said: "Thanks for coming" to members of the press who had gathered outside. Evans was met inside the station by detectives waiting to question him.