Nigel Evans has denies all the allegations against him (Reuters)
Nigel Evans has resigned from his role as deputy speaker of the House of Commons after he was charged with a string of sex offences against men, including rape and sexual assault.
Evans, 55, is accused of eight offences in total against seven men between 2002 and 2013. The Tory MP for Ribble Valley will appear before Preston Magistrate's Court on 18 September to face the charges.
He is accused of one count of rape, two counts of indecent assault and five counts of sexual assault. Evans has said he is "incredulous" about the accusations and vowed to fight them.
Speaking outside Preston Police Station, Evans said: "Whilst I'm saddened 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.
"Having informed my fellow deputy speakers Lindsay Hoyle and Dawn Primarolo, my association chairman and my staff, I can confirm I will now resign as deputy speaker. However, I will continue to work hard for the people of the Ribble Valley from the back benches where I first started my political career in 1992."
Evans was charged with the offences after he was rearrested on suspicion of indecent assault and sexual touching when he answered bail on previous allegations of rape, sexual assault and indecent assault.
The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, said: "Following an investigation by Lancashire police, the Crown Prosecution Service has received a file of evidence in the case of Mr Nigel Evans MP which concerns allegations of a sexual nature.
"After careful consideration, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Mr Evans."
Swansea-born Evans was appointed one of three deputy speakers of the House of Commons in 2010.
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