MP Nigel Evans sex assault claims 'a conspiracy'

Nigel Evans Image copyright PA
Image caption Nigel Evans told police he was "mystified" by the allegations and denies all charges

Former deputy speaker Nigel Evans told police a man who accused him of a sexual assault was at the "centre of the web" of a plot against him.

The MP said his alleged victim had "choreographed events" between four other complainants in the case.

Mr Evans, 56, denies one count of rape, two counts of indecent assault and six counts of sexual assault.

His trial at Preston Crown Court heard his replies to questions by detectives after he was arrested last May.

The Ribble Valley MP told police a "conspiracy" was at work involving an "old pals act".

He told officers the allegation of rape by one man had been made because of the "incredibly close" relationship between him and the bisexual co-accuser whom he described as "Machiavellian and manipulative".

He added: "Incredibly mischievous. Incredible. They must have talked about this stuff."

'Strapping lad'

The rape complainant, then aged 22, alleges Mr Evans assaulted him after a dinner party at the MP's home in the village of Pendleton, Lancashire, in March last year.

But Mr Evans described the complainant as a "strapping lad" who was a "willing participant" as the sex was consensual.

The officer questioned Mr Evans as to why the complainant left his home the next morning without telling him.

"Buyers regret," the MP said. "He was sorry we had sex. I accept that."

The officer asked him if he had drunk so much alcohol at the dinner party that his judgement on whether the complainant consented was affected.

"Certainly not," he replied.

The Conservative MP is alleged to have sexually assaulted seven young men on various dates between 2002 and last year by using his "powerful" political influence to take advantage of them, often while drunk.

The officer suggested the first alleged offence, an indecent assault by sexual touching in 2003 to the last alleged offence, the rape and sexual assault in 2013, showed a "build up in offending through to full rape".

Mr Evans replied: "No."

He told officers he was "staggered" and "mystified" by the allegations and denies all charges.

The trial continues.

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