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Tory MP denies 'pressuring' Evans complainants

MP Sarah Wollaston outside Preston Crown Court during Nigel Evans' trial.
MP Sarah Wollaston outside Preston Crown Court during Nigel Evans' trial. Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

A Conservative MP has denied she pushed two men to go the police with allegations against former deputy speaker Nigel Evans, and says Westminster is "turning a blind eye" to harassment claims.

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, Dr Sarah Wollaston said she made the offer to step down to the two complainants if they felt she had "pressured them to take the complaint forward".

The Totnes MP raised allegations linked to Mr Evans with Speaker John Bercow before complaints were lodged with the police.

She says she has faced "rank hostility" since the Ribble Valley MP was acquitted of a string of sexual offence charges last week.

Mr Evans, who currently sits as an independent, noted in an interview with the Daily Mail of Dr Wollaston: "It was mentioned to her as a throwaway remark yet she pursued it. For whatever reason, she decided to have it in for me."

Nigel Evans: Trial made me realise impact of legal aid cuts

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Nigel Evans: Accusations 'traumatic beyond belief'

Conservative MP Nigel Evans has told Daybreak his experience defending himself against charges of sexual assault was "traumatic beyond belief" and left him contemplating suicide.

The former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons said it was only because of his friends' support that he managed to get through the ordeal.

Nigel Evans contemplated suicide 'in darkest moments'

Nigel Evans has said he contemplated suicide when he stood accused of sexual assault.

The Tory MP, who was cleared of all charges last week, told Daybreak the experience was "traumatic beyond belief".

Nigel Evans talking to Daybreak about his 'traumatic' experience defending himself against charges of sexual assault Credit: ITV / Daybreak

Asked whether he had considered ending his own life, the Ribble Valley MP said: "In my darkest moments, yes, when you're a politician, you don't want to be accused of even going through the five items or less with six items in your basket.

"To be accused of what you are accused of is just traumatic beyond belief.

"It was only because of the friends that I had who actually came running towards me rather than the other way, people who came up and made sure I was alright, made sure that I was taken out for dinners, who would give me support and had hope in me and it was their faith in me that got me through."

Video: Nigel Evans: Accusations 'traumatic beyond belief'

Nigel Evans: 'Stop witch hunts'

Former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans speaks outside court Credit: PA

Former Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans has demanded that the Crown Prosecution Service be forced to pay his £130,000 legal bill after he was cleared of rape and sexual assault charges, the Mail on Sunday has reported.

He has also called for a review of anonymity guidelines that that allowed his seven male accusers to keep their identities secret.

More: Some MPs 'think they have a right to try it on with staff'

CPS: Britons travelling to Syria will be prosecuted

Sue Hemming warned Britons against travelling to Syria to fight in the conflict. Credit: CPS

The head of counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service has warned Britons that they could face jail if they travel to Syria.

"The message for people who are considering going out there and getting involved in terrorist training or getting involved in the conflict is that they will be potentially breaking the law in this country," Sue Hemming told the Evening Standard.

Whether the the potential fighter was for or against the Assad regime did not matter: “Potentially it’s an offence to go out and get involved in a conflict, however loathsome you think the people on the other side are," she said.

The report said Ms Hemming insisted it is not a crime to travel to Syria if the trip is for humanitarian efforts.

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