UK Politics

Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans 'refutes all allegations'

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Media captionCommons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans: "Clearly we want closure of this as soon as possible"

Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans has said he "refutes all allegations" after being arrested on suspicion of three counts of indecent assault.

The 55-year-old answered bail following his arrest in May on suspicion of rape and sexual assault, and was told that he faced the additional allegations.

All the allegations involve men in their 20s.

Mr Evans, Conservative MP for Ribble Valley, will not resume his Speaker duties while inquiries continue.

He has previously denied any wrongdoing.

The original rape and sexual assault allegations are said to have happened in Pendleton between July 2009 and March 2013.

New allegations

The new indecent assault allegations are claimed to have occurred in Blackpool and London between 2003 and 2011.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: "A 55-year-old man from Pendleton in Lancashire has today answered his bail following his arrest in May on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.

"He has subsequently been further arrested on suspicion of three further offences of indecent assault. He will be interviewed about these allegations at a police station in Lancashire during the course of the day."

He added: "We take all allegations of a sexual nature extremely seriously and understand how difficult it can be for victims to have the confidence to come forward.

"As a constabulary, we are committed to investigating sexual offences sensitively but robustly, recognising the impact that these types of crimes have on victims."

'Completely false'

Mr Evans spoke to the media as he left Preston police station on Wednesday afternoon after being released on police bail until 10 September.

He said: "Clearly we want closure of this as soon as possible and I carry on assisting this inquiry fully and openly.

"I continue to refute all allegations and in the meantime can I say that I'm extremely grateful for the huge amount of support and love I've received from my family, my friends and my constituents and indeed people throughout the country who have contacted me. So thanks very much, thank you."

Last month Mr Evans dismissed the original allegations against him as "completely false", and said they had been made by two people he had "regarded as friends".

Elected as one of three Commons Deputy Speakers in 2010, he has stepped aside from his duties in that role since his arrest, but has continued to work as an MP.

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