MP in sex offence charges

Former Shadow Welsh Secretary Nigel Evans has appeared at Preston Magistrates' Court accused of sex offences against seven men.

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Nigel Evans MP in court accused of sex offences

The former Shadow Welsh Secretary arrives at Preston Magistrates' Court this morning Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Former Shadow Welsh Secretary Nigel Evans has appeared at Preston Magistrates' Court accused of sex offences against seven men.

The Swansea-born MP, 55, is accused of two counts of indecent assault, five of sexual assault and one of rape.

District Judge Jane Goodwin adjourned the case until October 4th, when the former deputy speaker will appear for a preliminary hearing at Preston Crown Court.

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Nigel Evans to continue as MP despite charges

Nigel Evans says he will continue to represent his constituents in the House of Commons, despite being charged last night with offences including sexual assault and rape.

The Swansea-born former Shadow Welsh Secretary said today that he will "robustly defend" himself against the allegations made by several men.

In the meantime, the Ribble Valley MP says he won't take the Tory whip - but will sit as an Independent. He has, though, resigned as one of the Commons' deputy speakers.

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Deputy Speaker steps down 'after careful consideration'

Nigel Evans told MPs he decided to step down from his position as Deputy Commons Speaker "after careful consideration".

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Evans said: "I hope you will bear with me while I make this statement, it's been a few years since I made a speech in this chamber and I'm sad to say this is the speech.

"As many of you will know following recent allegations, I was charged with alleged offences yesterday. I now have the opportunity to robustly defend my innocence and seek acquittal.

"I have therefore decided the best course of action is for me to return to the backbenches and this is a decision I have made myself after careful consideration."

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Evans tells MPs he will 'robustly defend' his innocence

Nigel Evans has told MPs he will "robustly defend my innocence and seek acquittal."

Nigel Evans has resigned his position as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. Credit: ITV News

Mr Evans, who has resigned his position as Deputy Speaker, told the House of Commons he will not seek to regain the Conservative whip and will therefore sit as an Independent MP.

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Speaker John Bercow announces Evans resignation

Commons Speaker John Bercow has told the House he has received a letter of resignation from Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans with "sadness".

He added: "I wish to thank Nigel for his three years of service as deputy speaker."

Today it emerged Evans will be charged with a series of sex offences against seven men. But he has insisted he is innocent, vowing: "my innocence will be demonstrated".

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CPS: 'Sufficient evidence' to charge Nigel Evans

The Crown Prosecution Service said there was "sufficient evidence" and that it is in the "public interest to charge Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans with a number of sexual offences.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, said:

Following an investigation by Lancashire police, the Crown Prosecution Service has received a file of evidence in the case of Mr Nigel Evans MP which concerns allegations of a sexual nature.

After careful consideration, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Mr Evans. Lancashire Constabulary has therefore been authorised to charge two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one count of rape relating to a total of seven alleged victims.

Nigel Evans to be charged with sex offences

House of Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans will be charged with a series of sex offences against seven men, the director of public prosecutions said tonight.

Keir Starmer QC said the 55-year-old Tory MP - who is the former Shadow Welsh Secretary - is accused of two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one count of rape.

Mr Evans will appear before magistrates in Preston on 18 September.

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