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Evans: MP tells court he didn't rape anyone

Nigel Evans leaving Preston Crown Court
Nigel Evans MP Credit: ITV Granada

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans today entered the witness box and told a jury he had not raped or sexually assaulted anyone.

Evans, 56, is alleged to have sexually assaulted 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.

In his trial at Preston Crown Court he denies one rape, two indecent assaults, five sexual assaults and one attempted sexual assault.

His barrister Peter Wright QC asked him: "Have you sexually assaulted anyone in terms of the allegations set out here, Mr Evans?"

The MP replied: "No, Mr Wright."

Mr Wright then asked: "Have you raped anyone?"

Evans repeated: "No, Mr Wright."

Tribute to motorcyclist killed in Ribble Valley

Picture of Craig Foster smiling
Craig Foster. Credit: Lancashire Police

The wife of a motorcyclist who was killed in an accident in the Ribble Valley has paid tribute to him.

Craig Foster from Accrington was travelling along Blackburn Road towards Clayton le Moors when a JCB travelling in the opposite direction turned into the path of the Kawasaki motorcycle.

Craig’s wife Mel said:

Craig lived an interesting and fun filled life with love and laughter and touched many hearts along the way, a popular guy with a huge personality.

It is a truly tragic loss of a loving husband and father to our two wonderful children Cory and Lola.'

Police are appealing for witnesses to the accident or anyone who saw the motorcycle or JCB before the accident around 4.30pm yesterday afternoon.

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Lancashire pub is named best in the UK.

Swan with Two Necks, Pendleton Credit: ITV Granada

The Swan with Two Necks in Pendleton, Lancashire, has beaten competition from over 57,000 pubs across the UK to be crowned National Pub of the Year by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

Pubs are judged by CAMRA on a number of criteria including level of service and value for money.

CAMRA spokesman Julian Hough said "This is a massive achievement. The Swan with Two Necks really is the best of the best, having beaten rival pubs at every step."

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National

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.

Ribble Valley MP denies rape claims

by Amy Welch

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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