Police officers entered Parliament on Sunday to search the office of the Deputy speaker Nigel Evans, it emerged today. Mr Evans is under investigation by Lancashire detectives over allegations of rape and sexual assault, which he denies.
I wish to report to the house that the rooms of a member were searched yesterday pursuant to a warrant issued by the circuit judge in Preston Crown Court on 16 May. The warrant related to the investigation of a serious arrestable offence.
I should remind members, as did my predecessor in 2008, that the precincts of parliament are not a haven from the law...The investigation is continuing and it would not be right to comment further. I will not take questions on my statement.
– Speaker John Bercow addressing MPs in the Commons
The offices of Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans were searched by police on Sunday in connection with an investigation into allegations of rape and sexual assault.
Commons Speaker John Bercow said the offices were searched after an order was granted by Preston Crown Court on Thursday. He said he had been consulted before officers entered Parliament.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "We have confirmed that we have searched offices in London in connection with the investigation but it is inappropriate to comment any further other than to say that we have gone through all the appropriate and necessary procedures before taking this step."
Mr Evans, the Tory MP for Ribble Valley, was arrested on May 4 on suspicion of raping one man and sexually assaulting another between July 2009 and March 2013.
He strenuously denies the allegations and has stepped aside from his duties in the Commons though he has not been suspended.