MP Nigel Evans denies sex assault charges
Conservative MP Nigel Evans appeared in court in Preston to face charges of rape and sexual assault relating a number of men.
The Ribble Valley MP remained composed in the crown court dock as the charges, which date from 2002 to 2013, were put to him on Friday.
Wearing a grey suit and tie, Evans, 56, spoke only to confirm his name and answer “not guilty” to each of the charges as they were put.
He listened intently as arrangements were made for him to stand trial at Preston Crown Court on March 10.
The allegations relate to a total of seven men who claim to have been sexually assaulted by the MP.
Evans, who has represented Ribble Valley since 1992, stepped down from his position as Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons after he was charged in September 2013. However, he has continued to sit as a backbench MP.
Evans has been granted bail on condition he does not contact the complainants in the case.
It is unlikely any of his Ribble Valley constituents will be on the jury when the MP stands trial in March.
The trial is expected to last four weeks.