Nigel Evans, a gay man who is deputy speaker of Britain’s House of Commons, was arrested Saturday on charges of raping one man and sexually assaulting another in the past four years, charges he vehemently denies.
Evans, who was released on bail, spoke with reporters today in his hometown of Pendleton, in the north of England, saying, “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 regarded as friends. The allegations are completely false and I can’t understand why they have been made, especially as I have continued to socialize with one as recently as last week.”
Evans, a member of the Conservative Party, was elected to Parliament since 1992 and became one of three deputy speakers of the House of Commons in June 2010. He came out later that year, saying he was tired of “living a lie” and had been threatened with outing by political opponents, London’s Guardian newspaper reports.
He will step aside from his duties temporarily while fighting the charges. Read more here and watch video of his press statement below.