Nigel Evans trial: Accuser claims he did not report MP for alleged assault because he 'had no confidence' in Parliamentary authorities


Click to follow
The Independent Online

A Westminster worker who claims he was sexually assaulted by the former Commons deputy speaker said he had not made an official complaint because he had no confidence in the Parliamentary authorities to act against an MP, a court has heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said he was pushed into a darkened room by Nigel Evans during a champagne drinks party at the Tory’s official office.

He claimed Mr Evans, 56, had asked him to view a new fitted kitchen on Deputy Speaker's Corridor where he kissed him and touched him intimately telling him he was “gorgeous”.

Preston Crown Court was told that the younger man – one of seven allegedly assaulted by Evans - said he had liked and respected the MP for Ribble Valley considering him to be “one of the nice guys” although he considered him to be “flirty”.

He said he pushed Mr Evans away when he began fondling him.

“Because of how much I liked Nigel I think I decided to convince myself it was a one-off and that he got carried away, and he overstepped the line. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt. And in Parliament, people don't tend to have confidence in reporting anything about MPs," he said.

The disciplinary system was "more concerned about how things appear rather than with actually what happened," he claimed.

The two men remained in touch after the incident. The court heard the younger man sent an email inviting Mr Evans to attend an event he was staging at Parliament and began the message with "Hi Nigel" and ended it with an "x" kiss.

Denying the suggestion by Peter Wright QC for the defence that the assault had never occurred, he said it was only later, following publicity surrounding other historic sex abuse allegations and the MP’s arrest on a rape charge in 2013, that he contacted a senior officer at Lancashire police whom he knew.

"I did not treat it as seriously as I do now. Now having the benefit of being outside the Westminster bubble and seeing it in the context of other allegations, I had a duty to come forward,” he said. However he first told police that he did not consider the offence to be serious.

The complainant said felt "regret" at not having reported the incident at the time and that when the publicity of Jimmy Savile and Operation Yewtree surrounding the BBC came out he said he thought it was "kind of like Parliament".

After going to the police he said he spoke to three journalists but had never considered selling his story.

Mr Evans denies one rape, two indecent assaults and six sexual assaults said to have taken place on various dates between 2002 and last year.

The trial continues.