Nigel Evans MP has date set for trial over sex charges

Nigel Evans MP arriving at Preston Magistrates' Court on Friday 4 October
Image caption Nigel Evans resigned as Commons deputy speaker last month

A trial date has been set for ex-Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans MP to face sex offence charges.

Mr Evans has been accused of two counts of indecent assault, five of sexual assault, and one of rape against seven male alleged victims.

A provisional trial date of 10 March next year was set for the 55-year-old MP by Preston Crown Court.

Mr Evans was bailed and is due to appear next at Preston Crown Court on 24 January.

The indecent assaults are alleged to have been committed between 1 January 2002 and 1 January 2004, the sexual assaults allegedly between 1 January 2009 and 1 April 2013, and the alleged rape between 29 March and 1 April 2013.

The MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire resigned as deputy speaker of the House of Commons after being charged in September.

Mr Evans was a Conservative MP before becoming deputy speaker, a politically neutral role, but he has not sought to return to the Conservative fold in the Commons and will continue to represent his constituents as an independent.

He has been MP for the Ribble Valley constituency since 1992.

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