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.
Deputy House of Commons Speaker Nigel Evans visited the pub next door to his cottage, after speaking for the first time about his arrest on suspicion of rape and sexual assault, saying the claims are "completely false".
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.
"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."
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.