Defiant MP receives ‘tsunami of support’

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans reads one of his message's of support written in a card featuring one of his idols and mentors Mrs Margaret Thatcher.
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans reads one of his message's of support written in a card featuring one of his idols and mentors Mrs Margaret Thatcher.

Nigel Evans, the Ribble Valley’s MP for the past 21 years, has thanked his constituents for their amazing support and pledged to clear his name in the wake ofshock allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Speaking from his local in Pendleton on Bank Holiday Monday, a defiant Mr Evans said he had been overwhelmed by local support, and the fact he didn’t have to worry about what people think was one less burden.

“No one in politics wants to see themselves confronted with allegations like this,” he said. “I’ve spent 21 years building my career, but nothing prepares you for the trauma of this situation.”

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, who has been excused his official Parliamentary duties, added that he was returning to London that afternoon and to the House of Commons on Tuesday.

He had been due to help chair the Commons debates which will follow Wednesday’s Queen’s Speech.

Ribble Valley MP since 1992, Mr Evans, who said he had been in contact with Government Ministers about the allegations, added: “I want to thank my constituents for their amazing support and reassure them that I will not ignore my duties as their elected Member of Parliament.”

The 55-year-old was arrested from his home in Pendleton at around 7-30 a.m. on Saturday on suspicion of raping one man and sexually assaulting another – allegations which he says are “completely false”.

Mr Evans was interviewed about the offences, which are alleged to have been committed in Pendleton between July 2009 and March 2013, throughout Saturday at a police station in Preston before