Nigel Evans resigns as Deputy Speaker

CHARGES: MP Nigel Evans
CHARGES: MP Nigel Evans

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has resigned as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons after learning he is to be charged with eight sex offences.

The 55-year-old, who spent yesterday being interviewed by detectives over fresh allegations at Preston Police Station, was told late last night he is to face a court.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, announced at just after 10pm that he felt here was sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr Evans over allegations dating back 11 years.

In a statement Mr Starmer 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 is to appear before Preston Magistrates Court on September 18.

All the charges relate to alleged offences against men between 2002 and March/April this year.

Mr Evans, who lives in the picturesque village of Pendleton near Clitheroe, arrived at Preston Police Station with his solicitor yesterday after being arrested for the third time in four months.

It is understood he spent most of the day being quizzed before the decision was made to charge him.

The Conservative MP, who has represented the Ribble Valley constituency for the past 21 years, has strenuously denied all the allegations made against him and has told friends he is determined to clear his name.