Former Commons deputy speaker Nigel Evans said he had “gone through 11 months of hell” after he was cleared of committing nine sexual offences against seven young men.
Speaking outside Preston Crown Court, Evans said: “Can I first start by passing on my condolences to one of the jurors whose father died during the trial. My deepest condolences to him and his family.
“Can I also thank my legal team....I thank them for their support during this trial.
“As many of you know I’ve gone through 11 months of hell.
“I’ve not been alone. Many have walked with me including my team at Clitheroe and Westminster, my constituency association, my family, my friends, my constituents and indeed many people who I don’t even know have sent messages of support.
“In my darkest and loneliest times, there were only two or one set of footprints in the sand. Those of you of faith will know, they weren’t mine.
“The fact is I’ve got work to do. It’s the work that I’ve done for the last 22 years so this isn’t a time for celebration or euphoria.
“Bill Roache just a few weeks ago from this very spot said there are no winners in these cases and that’s absolutely right there are no winners, so no celebrations.
“But the fact is I’ve got work to do, work that I’ve done for the last 22 years. All I can say is that after the last 11 months that I’ve gone through, nothing will ever be the same again.”