Tory MP Nigel Evans reveals soap star Vicky Entwistle helped him escape 'media circus' after his arrest over rape and sexual assault allegations

Nigel Evans explains his ‘scar’ and insists he will fight rape allegations

Nigel Evans spoke yesterday of his “trauma” of facing allegations of rape and disclosed a former ITV Coronation Street star had helped him escape the “media circus” that followed his arrest.

The Commons Deputy Speaker repeated his vehement denial of the accusations by two men and insisted he would fight to clear his name. Mr Evans was arrested on Saturday by police investigating claims he raped one man and sexually assaulted another between 2009 and March this year.

In his fullest comment since his release on bail after 15 hours of questioning, he said was “shell-shocked” and “absolutely staggered” to find four detectives at the door of his home in Pendleton, Lancashire.

“They read me my rights and were incredibly pleasant and sympathetic. They gave me the time to make myself a cup of tea and something to eat if I wanted to. I didn’t get myself anything to eat, I’d just been arrested, so I thought I’d let that go.

“It felt surreal and indeed for the next several hours I was rather hoping I would wake up and be somewhere else, back in bed, perhaps.”

He and a group of friends spent the two nights after his release at the secluded home of the former Coronation Street actress, Vicky Entwistle, in nearby Bolton-by-Bowland. She is a long-standing friend who helped the Conservative MP to make the decision to come out as gay three years ago.

Mr Evans said: “You do need a bit of sanctuary. It gave us enough time to work, to contemplate and to think a bit more about where we are and what we need to do next.

“It’s not business as normal now, but I wanted to make it clear that business is as normal as it can be.”

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

“I am determined not to let these allegations destroy either me or my career. What doesn’t destroy you makes you stronger. I’m trying to make sure in my own mind I’m on that side.”

Mr Evans, who returned to London on Monday, has made clear he is determined to remain as Deputy Speaker and the MP for Ribble Valley. He will not, however, chair any of the Commons debates that will follow tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech. He insisted he would attend the event, explaining: “If there’s room in the Lords I’ll stay and listen. Otherwise I’ll watch it on TV.”

The 55-year-old MP also revealed the cause of a mysterious “scar” on his forehead when he appeared before cameras on Sunday. He said the “painful” bruise developed on Thursday after a Reiki massage in London’s Chinatown to combat migraine. “I had a massage of my head and shoulders to relieve the stress that had caused the migraine and as the chap came to finish his fingers dug into my forehead.”

Mr Evans said he had received more than 1,000 goodwill text and Facebook messages since his arrest which had “really buoyed me up”.

The former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell told Radio 4’s Today programme: “If he were to resign now we would be in a terrible position where every public office holder would be open to blackmail and false stories in the media, triggering their resignation.” Mr Mitchell, 57, stepped down last October following allegations – which he strongly denies – that  he called Downing Street police officers “plebs”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness