Tory MP Conor Burns told Nigel Evans to spend less time with Commons researchers
Conor Burns has become the first MP to give evidence for the prosecution in the trial of MP Nigel Evans.
Mr Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, was asked in court about an alleged incident involving Mr Evans in 2003.
It’s claimed Mr Evans, MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire, assaulted a man in a Blackpool bar during the Conservative Party Conference.
Mr Burns told Preston Crown Court that he was not in the bar at the time of the incident and because it was more than 10 years ago he had forgotten most of what happened.
He said the alleged victim told him “Nigel was being over-friendly and inappropriate”.
“I went to find Nigel and I suggested to him it was very late and it might be a good idea if he called it a night,” Mr Burns said.
Mr Burns said he walked the MP out of the bar, with assistance from Tory MEP Nirj Deva. Mr Burns then told the alleged victim that Mr Evans had left and he could go back to his friends.
Mr Burns said he advised Mr Evans to spend less time with House of Commons researchers “who sometimes have an elevated view of themselves”.
He refuted suggestions that Mr Evans lost his job as shadow secretary for wales because of behaviour at the party conference.
Giving evidence from the witness box, Mr Burns told the court that police officers repeatedly asked him to make a formal witness statement despite his reluctance.
The MP said he told police on separate occasions that he did not have a “robust, strong, meaningful enough recollection to make a meaningful statement”.
In a witness statement read to the jury, MEP Nirj Deva said he told Mr Evans: “Nigel, you are pissed. Time for you to go to bed”.
Earlier, former Conservative Party councillor Mark Famosa told Preston Crown Court he had to push Mr Evans off the alleged victim.
Mr Famosa told jurors that Mr Evans was getting “closer and closer to the young man, uncomfortably close in my view” and that his nose was almost touching the alleged victim’s nose.
“I intended to get Mr Evans off him, I pulled him off and pushed him towards the bar,” he said.
Mr Famosa refuted suggestions that he was making the story up.
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Mr Evans denies the charge.
The MP denies two counts of indecent assault, six of sexual assault and one of rape.
The trial continues.
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