Nigel Evans, the openly gay Tory Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, was arrested yesterday on charges of sexual assault and rape, the Guardian reports:
Detectives visited his home in Pendleton, Lancashire, on Saturday morning following allegations made by two men who were in their 20s at the time of the alleged attacks, which are said to have taken place at the property in July 2009 and March 2013.
The house and his car were searched by officers while Evans was held in custody at Preston police station. He was released on police bail until 19 June.
The prime minister, David Cameron, is understood to have been informed about the arrest of the 55-year-old, MP for Ribble Valley since 1992, one of the few Tory strongholds in the north. John Bercow, the Commons speaker, last night told the Daily Mirror: "It's been a total shock. Nigel is a popular and well-liked character. No one can quite believe what's happened."
Evans denied the charges in a statement to reporters on Sunday:
After being granted bail, Evans told reporters: "Yesterday I was interviewed by the police concerning two complaints – one of which dates back four years – made by two people who are well known to each other and who until yesterday I had regarded as friends.
"The complaints are completely false and I cannot understand why they have been made, especially as I have continued to socialise with one as recently as last week."
Watch Evans speak to reporters, AFTER THE JUMP…
No further details regarding the charges have been disclosed by police.