Evans Commons duties on hold

Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans will not resume chairing duties in the chamber while police investigations continue into allegations of rape and sexual assault, a Commons spokesman said. Mr Evans denies the allegations.

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Nigel Evans 'to continue as normal', says constituency

The Ribble Valley Conservative Association has said they expected Deputy Commons Speaker Nigel Evans to continue with his duties as usual, after the Lancashire MP was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault yesterday. In a statement on their website, it said:

Nigel Evans MP has represented the Ribble Valley Constituency with distinction for 21 years. He is widely liked and respected by his constituents for whom he has worked tirelessly.

The officers and members of the Ribble Valley Conservative Association have got to know and respect him and are shocked about his arrest.

We are believers in the rule of law and are aware that these are merely allegations.

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Police search Nigel Evans' home and car

Officers have searched Nigel Evans' house in his home village of Pendleton, Lancashire, as well as his white Saab convertible.

The Deputy Commons Speaker's house, named "Brooklyn" and bearing a crowned portcullis, was searched by officers wearing white gloves, along with belongings found in a holdall in the boot of his car.

Evans denies the allegations, which he described as "completely false". Read more on this story here.

Lord Blair: 'Real problem' over sex claim suspect naming

Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Blair has said that had the Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans not been a public figure he would probably not have been named after his arrest over rape and sexual assault allegations.

Speaking to Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News, he said: "There is a real problem here about people being named, particularly around sexual offences, and I think the names have to be given.

Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Blair
Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Blair Credit: Press Association

"I think one of the things that we really ought to be appealing to the press and the media in general is that if somebody is named in those circumstances but is either not charged or acquitted then some prominence needs to be given to that in the press."

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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.
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.

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
Foreign Secretary William Hague Credit: Press Association

Read: Evans: Rape and sexual assault claims 'completely false

Evans: Rape and sexual assault claims 'completely false'

Deputy House of Commons Speaker Nigel Evans has made statement after his release on police bail after being arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault yesterday.

He said that the allegations are "completely false" and made by two people he had "regarded as friends until yesterday".

Deputy House of Commons Speaker and Conservative MP
Deputy House of Commons Speaker Nigel Evans Credit: Matthew Fearn/PA Wire

Mr Evans also said he could not understand why they have been made especially as he had "continued to socialise with one" as late as last week.

He also spoke of his "sense of incredulity" at the events.

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