Nigel Evans resigns as Deputy Speaker after he is charged with sexual offences

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Nigel Evans has resigned from his post as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons after the Crown Prosecution Service announced that there is sufficient evidence to charge him.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, said:”Following an investigation by Lancashire police, the Crown Prosecution Service has received a file of evidence in the case of Mr Nigel Evans MP which concerns allegations of a sexual nature.

“After careful consideration, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Mr Evans. Lancashire Constabulary has therefore been authorised to charge two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one count of rape relating to a total of seven alleged victims.”

Mr Evans will not resign as the MP for Ribble Valley but will not sit as a Conservative Party MP in the House of Commons.

Mr Evans has strenuously denied all of the accusations made so far.

Speaking outside Preston police station, Mr Evans said: “I have today answered bail following complaints I said were incredulous.

“Whilst I’m saddened this case has not been closed today, I am certain of two things: firstly that I am innocent; and secondly, that my innocence will be demonstrated.

“Having informed my fellow deputy speakers Lindsay Hoyle and Dawn Primarolo, my association chairman and my staff, I can confirm I will now resign as deputy speaker

“However I will continue to work hard for the people of the Ribble Valley from the back benches where I first started my political career in 1992.

“I appreciate that this case will create a great deal of media interest, but after today I will not be making any further comment until after the case concludes.”

Mr Evans will appear before Preston Magistrates’ Court on the 18 September 2013.

The original rape and sexual assault allegations, made in May this year, are said to have happened in Pendleton, Lancashire between July 2009 and March 2013.

Three further indecent assault allegations emerged the following month, believed to have taken place in Blackpool and London between 2003 and 2011.

Mr Evans was one of three deputy speakers elected in a secret ballot of MPs in 2010. Later that year he came out as gay, saying he was “tired of living a lie”.

He has since stepped down from his Speaker duties following his arrests, but has continued to work as a Tory MP.

In an interview with PinkNews after he came out, Mr Evans said: “I’ve thrown away 35 years of my life.”

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