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MP denies resort assault

Court artists sketch by Elizabeth Cook of former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans appearing at Preston Crown Court where he faces nine charges, dating from 2002 to April 1, last year of sexual offences against seven men.

Court artists sketch by Elizabeth Cook of former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans appearing at Preston Crown Court where he faces nine charges, dating from 2002 to April 1, last year of sexual offences against seven men.

An MP has denied putting his hands down the trousers of a man at a bar in Blackpool.

Nigel Evans, who represents Ribble Valley in Parliament, is standing trial on several counts including one of rape, two indecent assaults, five sexual assaults and one attempted sexual assault.

Mr Evans was cross-examined by his defence barrister today at Preston Crown Court, and admitted having consensual sexual contact with one of his alleged victims at his house in Pendleton, near Clitheroe.

However, he denied raping and sexually assaulting him.

Peter Wright QC said he would deal with each allegation in detail later in the trial, but for now he wanted to “swiftly go through each individual case” from the beginning, charge by charge.

He asked the defendant if he had “any recollection” of putting his hand down the trousers of a young man in a Soho bar in 2003, the first charge.

Evans replied: “Absolutely none.”

Mr Wright asked again if he had any recollection of doing the same thing to another man in an incident at the Number 10 Bar of the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool, during the Conservative Party conference of 2003.

Evans replied again: “Absolutely not.”

The MP denied ever making a pass or trying to kiss the third alleged complainant.

He was then asked about the fifth charge - allegedly groped a young man he had been introduced to at the House of Commons.

Mr Wright said: “Have you ever taken a man by the genitals in the Strangers Bar as a form of introduction, one to the other?”

Evans replied: “No. It’s as absurd as it sounds.”

The final accusation was put to him - that he made a pass at a young man in a kitchen area near his House of Commons office - which he also denied.

Earlier in questioning Mr Wright asked him: “Have you sexually assaulted anyone in terms of the allegations set out here, Mr Evans?”

The MP replied: “No, Mr Wright.”

Mr Wright then asked: “Have you raped anyone?”

Evans repeated: “No, Mr Wright.”

The Swansea-born MP confirmed that he had no previous convictions and had not been arrested before these events.

(Proceeding)

 
 
 

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