MP Nigel Evans reselected as Tory candidate despite local party ‘revolt’

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Gay Conservative MP Nigel Evans has been selected to stand again at next year’s General Election, despite attempts to oust him within the local party.

The politician, MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire, was fully cleared of multiple charges of indecent and sexual assault involving several men and one charge of rape.

The MP, who came out in 2010, resigned as deputy speaker of the House of Commons in September last year after being charged.

In June he had claimed that “homophobic” local party activists were attempting to unseat him during as the Conservative candidate in 2015.

Local councillor Peter Ainsworth had warned: “It’s mainly the members who are against him. If you speak to the women they can’t say anything against him, but the men seem to take a dim view.”

However, this evening Mr Evans was reselected by members of the local Conservative Association following a secret ballot.

Mr Evans, who has represented Ribble Valley since 1992, recently called for anonymity for rape suspects until they are charged or even convicted to prevent lives from being “wrecked”.

He said the effect of a false accusation on someone innocent often proved devastating.