It is being reported that the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, the openly gay Conservative MP Nigel Evans, has been arrested on suspicion of rape of one man and the sexual assault of another.

It is understood that Mr Evans was arrested in his constituency home of Pendelton in Lancashire.

Although police are refusing to confirm the identity of the 55-year-old man who was arrested, numerous sources have named the man as Mr Evans.

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

“The man will be interviewed at a police station in Lancashire during the course of the day. The offences are alleged to have been committed in Pendleton between July 2009 and March 2013.

“We take all allegations of a sexual nature extremely seriously and understand how difficult it can be for victims to have the confidence to come forward.

“As a Constabulary, we are committed to investigating sexual offences sensitively but robustly recognising the impact that these types of crimes have on victims.

“We would encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse, or who has information about it, to have the confidence to report it to us knowing that we will take it seriously, deal with it sensitively and investigate it thoroughly.”

Mr Evans, who previously voted against gay rights, while in the closet, is now a prominent and passionate supporter of LGBT issues in Parliament. He described supporting Section 28 as his “neanderthal phase.”

In an interview with PinkNews after he came out, Mr Evans said: “I’ve thrown away 35 years of my life.”

“I am clearly available!”

“And that’s what I mean by throwing away 35 years of my life. If I was a teenager now, I think the chances of me having found somebody and then staying with them for a long period, I think would have happened. So it has repercussions, the later you leave it.”

“It’s never easy to come out… the older you are, it’s more difficult. Whereas now, I think it’s a lot easier for people to come out as gay as soon as they know they’re gay.”

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