Nigel Evans: ‘I’m overwhelmed’ by the support from my colleagues

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The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, the openly gay Conservative MP Nigel Evans says he is “overwhelmed” by the support he has received since being arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.

The Conservative MP, who denies any wrongdoing, said he had gone through the “worst two days of my life”, but added that he was back at work.

Speaking to reporters at Westminster on Tuesday, Mr Evans said in a statement: “I’ve been in work since half past seven this morning getting on with looking at many of the emails that have come in, not just from constituents but from throughout the world, giving me support and sympathy for what I’m alleged to have done.

“I’m overwhelmed with the number of colleagues who have come up to me as well who are basically, you know MPs don’t shake hands, well I have never shaken so many MPs’ hands as I have today, and giving me support, which is really helping me to get through this.”

Mr Evans said he would be in the Commons for Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech.

The 55-year-old was arrested on Saturday and questioned by police over rape and sexual assault allegations which he says are “completely false”.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow has agreed that Mr Evans should be excused from his duties chairing the Queen’s Speech debate, which opens on Wednesday.

Mr Evans said he was continuing with work for his Ribble Valley constituency, which had shown him “fantastic support”.

He said he was having “just a few days off chair duty” but would continue having his planned meetings with Commons Speaker John Bercow.

Mr Evans’ solicitor has already said the MP does not intend to quit as deputy speaker or as an MP.

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