Nigel Evans, the former deputy speaker of the House of Commons, has denied in court allegations of sexual offences against seven men.

The 56-year-old entered formal not guilty pleas to all charges during a pretrial hearing at Preston Crown Court on Friday.

Mr Evans, the MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire, is accused of two counts of indecent assault, six of sexual assault, and one of rape.

He denies the charges, which date from 1 April 2002 to last year.

An extra count of sexual assault was added to the indictment, making nine charges in all.

The MP was granted bail by the judge until his trial date, which has been set for 10 March.

Mr Evans resigned as Commons deputy speaker after he was charged on 10 September 2013.

As deputy speaker, he sat as an independent MP but he will not take the Conservative whip and will sit as an independent MP for his constituency.

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