The mood at the Conservative party conference is "very positive", as it gears up for its most high profile meeting before the next general election, an influential Tory MP said.
Nigel Evans told Good Morning Britain: "The mood of the Conservative party is that we can win that next general election. It's only a few months away but because of all the things that have happened - the turnaround in the economy and the very positive mood we have here."
An MP who was cleared of committing a string of sexual offences has won the approval of local party members to defend his seat at the general election.
Nigel Evans was reselected in a secret ballot of Conservative members in Ribble Valley for the 2015 poll, a party spokesman confirmed.
The politician - who quit as Commons deputy speaker to successfully fight the allegations in court earlier this year - had faced some local dissent.
He was forced to sit as an independent in the Commons pending and during the trial but had the Conservative whip restored soon afterwards.
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, the former Commons Deputy Speaker, has told ITV News he wants new legal safeguards to stop others being put through "the fires of hell".
The MP was acquitted on sexual assault charges last week but says he was pursued by prosecutors who acted like "zealots".
Tory MP Nigel Evans is entitled to reclaim part of his legal costs from successfully defending himself against charges of rape and sexual assault, the Ministry of Justice has said.
A spokesman said:
"Anyone who has applied for legal aid and is subsequently acquitted of a crime is entitled to be repaid at least part of their legal costs - irrespective of whether their application was accepted."
Tory MP Nigel Evans has called for a rethink of the law relating to rape cases, telling ITV News it is not right for those making allegations to remain anonymous while defendants' names are publicised.
Conservative MP Nigel Evans has told ITV News the "trauma" of his trial for sexual assault made him realise the "first-hand consequences" of cutting legal aid.
He admitted he "might well" have voted for the cuts, but now understood the problems they could create for people.
The former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons said cutting legal aid can leave people "doubly punished" if they have to defend themselves and then foot huge legal bills, even if they are acquitted.
Acquitted MP Nigel Evans has spoken to Daybreak of his ordeal during his trial for rape and sexual assault.Read the full story ›
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 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".
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."