The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, the openly gay Conservative MP Nigel Evans, has said he “refutes all allegations” after being arrested on suspicion of three counts of indecent assault.

The 55-year-old was formally informed of the new claims as he answered bail at Preston Police Station on Wednesday.

He already faced allegations he raped one man and sexually assaulted another between July 2009 and March 2013.

The new indecent assault allegations are claimed to have occurred in Blackpool and London between 2003 and 2011.

Mr Evans strenuously denies all of the claims.

Speaking outside the police station, he said: “Clearly we want closure of this as soon as possible and I carry on assisting this inquiry fully and openly.

“I continue to refute all allegations and in the meantime can I say that I’m extremely grateful for the huge amount of support and love I’ve received from my family, my friends and my constituents and indeed people throughout the country who have contacted me. So thanks very much, thank you.”

Mr Evans, Conservative MP for Ribble Valley, will not resume his duties in the Commons while inquiries continue.

A Lancashire Constabulary spokesperson said: “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.”

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