- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One of Britain’s leading Conservative Party politicians, Nigel Evans, resigned as deputy speaker of the House of Commons on Tuesday evening over charges of sexual offenses against seven men.

The charges range from rape to sexual assault and indecent assault, prosecutors said, NBC reported.

Mr. Nigel was deputy speaker of the House of Commons. He stepped down from that leadership role, but will still serve as a parliamentary member for his district, Ribble Valley, NBC said,

He “robustly” denied the charged and vowed to launch a vigorous challenge, NBC reported.

“May I reassure everyone at this time that I will robustly defend my innocence,” he said, NBC reported. “Whilst I am saddened that this case has not been closed today, I am certain of two things: firstly that I am innocent and secondly, that my innocence will be demonstrated.”

But the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said otherwise.

“We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute,” Mr. Starmer said. “Lancashire Constabulary has therefore been authorized to charge two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one count of rape relating to a total of seven alleged victims.”

Mr. Evans, 55, was arrested in May on rape and sexual assault, and then again in June for other related offenses. He was formally charged with the crimes on Tuesday. The charges stem from alleged incidents that occurred between January 2002 and April 2013.

Mr. Evans was elected in 1992 and took over deputy speaker responsibilities in 2010. He was also vice chairman of the Conservative party between 1999 and 2001.

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