British MP denies rape allegations

London, May 6 (IANS) Nigel Evans, deputy speaker of the House of Commons, has denied as “completely false” allegations against him, after he was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault, BBC reported.

The 55-year-old Tory MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire has been questioned about alleged attacks on two men.

In a statement to journalists, Evans expressed his “sense of incredulity at these events”.

His solicitor said he did not intend to quit as deputy speaker or as an MP.

The offences were alleged to have taken place between July 2009 and March 2013 in Pendleton, Lancashire, police said.

Evans has got bail until June 19.

“I was interviewed by police concerning two complaints. One of which dates back four years made by two people who are well known to each other, and who until yesterday I regarded as friends,” the MP was quoted as saying.

“The complaints are completely false and I cannot understand why they have been made, especially as I have continued to socialise with one as recently as last week.”

He described the recent events as the “worst 24 hours of my life”, aside from the losses of his mother and brother.

But he thanked his friends and supporters for their “amazing and overwhelming” support.

Evans, MP for Ribble Valley since 1992, was elected one of three Commons deputy speakers three years ago.

In more than two decades in parliament, the MP – who came out as gay in 2010 – has held some senior posts in the party.

From 1999 to 2001, he was vice-chairman of the Conservative Party. In 2001, he was promoted to shadow Welsh secretary – a post he held for two years.

The deputy speaker of the house is elected by all the members of the House of Commons.

He or she presides over Commons debates when the speaker is not there. A deputy has the same powers as the speaker when sitting; he or she controls debates and maintains discipline and also has the deciding vote in the case of a tie in the house.

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