Nigel Evans trial: Former deputy speaker denies raping and sexually assaulting man at constituency home

 

The former deputy speaker of the House of Commons on Thursday denied raping and sexually assaulting a young man at his constituency home telling a jury that all contact between them was consensual.

Giving evidence in his trial at Preston Crown Court, Nigel Evans said there had been no indication the 22-year-old was an unwilling participant in the acts in the bedroom of his cottage in Pendleton, Lancashire last year.

He also denied sexually assaulting another man on a sofa at the house in 2009. Mr Evans, 56, described how he and the man laid together holding hands but that he “exploded and said `No” when he tried to touch him for a second time after brushing away his advances.

He said there was no further sexual contact between the men.

Under questioning from his barrister Peter Wright QC, Mr Evans said an allegation that he had “cupped” the genitals of another young man he met in the Strangers Bar of the House of Commons was “as absurd as it sounds”.

He also said he had no recollection of putting his hand down the trousers of two other men whilst out drinking. Mr Evans, who denies all the charges involving seven men against him, told the jury how he had gone public over his sexuality revealing to the Mail on Sunday that he was gay in December 2010.

He said he had “struggled” with the issue for many years but eventually decided to come out following the death of his elderly mother – telling Prime Minister David Cameron of his decision along with his constituency association.

“My mum was in her 80s, there was no right time. I just did not want to upset her. I didn't know how she would take it,” he said.

Mr Wright asked him about his decision to stand as deputy speaker after losing his job in the shadow cabinet in a restructuring of posts under former Tory leader Michael Howard.

“I thought 'Here is an opportunity to be involved in the day-to-day running of Parliament on a much bigger basis'," he said.

Asked about his drinking he admitted he had “probably” been drunk at Parliament and at Conservative party conferences which he said were social as well as political events.

The trial continues.

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