Nigel Evans tells of support

Nigel Evans told today of the support he has had after going through what he described as the "worst two days of my life".

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Nigel Evans taking a 'few days off chair duty'

Deputy Commons Speaker Nigel Evans told reporters in Westminster he intended to resume his duties in the Speaker's chair once debate on the Queen's Speech is over.

I'm also grateful to the Speaker for allowing me just a few days off chair duty during the Queen's speech so that I can concentrate on what I need to be doing but I will be having my regular meetings with the Speaker throughout this week and then resuming my chair duties straight after the Queen's speech is over.

I shall be in the chamber tomorrow waiting for Black Rod to bang on the door and taking part in that fantastic ceremony.

  1. Amy Welch

Ribble Valley MP denies rape claims

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has spoken for the first time about his arrest on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.

The Deputy Speaker for the House of Commons says the claims are "completely false".

He says the two alleged victims, both men in their 20s, had been friends of his "until yesterday".

Mr Evans was arrested at his home near Clitheroe yesterday.

Amy Welch reports:-

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Defence Secretary 'shocked' by Evans allegations

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he had been 'shocked' by the allegations about Nigel Evans. Credit: PA

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he is "shocked" by the allegations about Nigel Evans and suggested it could be "very difficult" for the MP to continue as deputy speaker while the matter was being investigated.

"I know Nigel well, I have known him for years. I'm obviously as shocked as everybody else is," he told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show.

"I stick rigidly to the view that we should treat people as innocent until they are proven guilty but it is quite difficult to carry out a sensitive and high profile role while being under this kind of scrutiny."

Evans today branded the allegations as "completely false", adding that they had been made by two people he had regarded as friends.

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Hague: 'Sorry to see' Nigel Evans situation

When asked for his reaction to Deputy Commons Speaker Nigel Evan's arrest over alleged rape and sexual assault, the Foreign Secretary said "we're all be very sorry to see this situation".

Speaking to Sky News, William Hague said the Tory MP was a "long-standing friend" and "a very popular and well-respected member of Parliament".

He added that he would not comment further because the case is subject to legal proceedings.

Foreign Secretary William Hague Credit: Press Association
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