MP Nigel Evans: I’m gay, but I’d go back to Morocco tomorrow
Tory MP Nigel Evans has said he would be happy to travel to Morocco, after helping to secure the release of a British man jailed for ‘homosexual acts’.
Ray Cole, 70, a retired magazine publisher from Deal in Kent, was arrested during a holiday last month and convicted of ‘homosexual acts’, but was released pending appeal yesterday, and has since returned to the UK.
Mr Evans, the out MP for Ribble Valley, helped secure Mr Cole’s release through the Moroccan embassy after being contacted by PinkNews.
He told This Morning: “A mate of mine sent me the article in PinkNews about Ray being arrested and put in prison. I then got in touch will [Ray’s son] Adrian… and then he phoned me to give me some of the information about Ray.
“I’m a parliamentary friend of Morocco, which was a bit handy. I’ve been to Morocco four times – the last time I went there was last year, as a guest of the Moroccan government.
“I spoke to the deputy ambassador, and things started to move pretty quickly from then on in.”
He added: “I’ve got no political axe to grind against Morocco. I’d go back to Morocco tomorrow – I’m gay.
“I’ve been there four times, there’s never been a problem.
“Ray was particularly unlucky in the way he was arrested and put into prison.
“I’d love to see some change to the laws because clearly gays in Morocco are suppressed – but [Ambassador] Princess Lalla Salma, who is related to King Mohammed VI has turned wonders.”