Former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans told detectives he was “staggered” at being arrested over an alleged rape, Preston Crown Court has heard.

The 56-year-old MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire admitted having sex with a man 33 years younger than him but said it was consensual.

The jury heard today of Mr Evans’ answers to questions from detectives at Preston Police Station last year.

Mr Evans is said to have raped the man, then aged 22, following a dinner party at the MP’s home in Pendleton during March 2013.

The MP told officers: “Did I have sexual contact with him? The answer is yes. Was it non-consensual? The answer is no”.

He added the man involved was “not a wilting flower”.

The MP said after drinking champagne and red wine, his other dinner guests left his home, leaving him alone with the young man, who was intending to stay over in his spare room.

During the interview, he told police they began “caressing and kissing” and when Mr Evans went upstairs to his room the man asked: “Should I follow you?”

Mr Evans told police he replied “yes” and they then had sex.

He pondered to officers: “At which stage he thought what was going to happen was not consensual, I’m a bit mystified.

“Had he not wished to have any sexual contact with me he could have said so, which he never did. He could have gone up to his own bed.”

The MP said he was openly gay, having come out in 2010, and that he was also aware the young man was gay.

He said they had oral and penetrative sex and at no point did the young man say he did not want to.

Mr Evans told officers: “He followed me upstairs, as I turned right to go into my bedroom, he said: ‘Shall I follow you?’, to which I said: ‘Yes.’

“We got into the same bed together even though there was a bed upstairs designated for him.

“Had he never wished for sexual activity at all I would have assumed he would have gone upstairs.

“Saying, ‘no’ or ‘stop’ would have been another indicator … but of course there was none of that.”

Earlier, a statement from the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow was read out to the jury.

Mr Bercow said a “serious allegation” against Mr Evans was raised with him by Conservative MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, who explained that claims of sexual assault and rape were being made against Mr Evans by two men.

Yesterday, Dr Wollaston, MP for Totnes in Devon, said she had been frustrated that Mr Bercow was told that he could not investigate the allegations.

The jury heard today Mr Bercow agreed to meet the alleged rape victim, but then told those involved it was a police matter after taking legal advice.

Mr Evans denies one count of rape, two of indecent assault and six of sexual assault.

The trial continues.

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