Top MP ‘used his influence in assaults’

Former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans used his “powerful” influence to sexually assault seven young men, a court has been told.

Top MP ‘used his influence in assaults’

He had the “ability to make or break” the careers of those who wished to work in Westminster, a jury at Preston Crown Court heard. Evans exploited his position and pressed his sexual attentions on his victims, and carried on doing so despite being warned about his behaviour, says the Crown.

Evans, 56, faces nine charges in all, dating from 2002 to April 1 last year, involving the seven complainants. The MP for Ribble Valley, in Lancashire, denies two counts of indecent assault, six of sexual assault and one of rape.

Opening the case, prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said: “Within the Palace of Westminster, in his constituency and in his own political party, Mr Evans was, during the decade with which you are concerned, a very well-known and powerful individual.

“Part of his influence included the ability to make, or to break, the careers of those young people who themselves would be politicians or work for those who govern.

“The prosecution case against Mr Evans is he, often when in drink, pressed his sexual attentions on those younger men, using or trading on his position of influence.”

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