UK Lawmaker 'Arrested over Gay Rape Claim'

UK Lawmaker 'Arrested over Gay Rape Claim'

A deputy speaker of the House of Commons was arrested on suspicion of raping one man and sexually assaulting another, according to media reports.

Media said Conservative MP Nigel Evans, was questioned over alleged attacks on two men in their twenties.

Evans, 55, represents Ribble Valley in Lancashire and is one of the House of Commons’ three deputy speakers.

Lancashire Police said in a statement: “A 55-year-old man from Pendleton in Lancashire has today, Saturday, May 4 2013, been arrested by Lancashire Constabulary on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.”

A spokeswoman for the force later said the suspect had been released on bail until June 19.

Police said the alleged attacks took place in the village of Pendleton, where Evans lives, between July 2009 and March 2013.

Prime Minister David Cameron has reportedly been informed of the arrest.

Evans revealed he was gay in 2010, eight years after he was elected, saying he was “tired of living a lie”.

He is a popular figure at Westminster, well-liked by MPs across the political spectrum. His arrest stunned fellow Conservatives.

Brian Binley, a Conservative MP and a friend of Evans, said: “I was just deeply disturbed and shocked.

The Welsh MP was also a vice chairman of the Conservative party between 1999 and 2001, and was spokesman for the party on Welsh affairs for two years after that.

When he came out as gay in 2010, Evans claimed that political opponents had threatened to reveal his secret.

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