"Oh God, It's Happening to Me Now"

Today in court three alleged victims of sex offences at the hands of Nigel Evans gave evidence against the former Deputy Speaker. The first alleged victim told the court he felt a “very drunk” Evans put his hand down his trousers in a Soho bar. He said he thought at the time “oh god it’s happening to me now… if I don’t walk away I am going to hit him,” and that “it wasn’t a comedy squeeze. I knew what he was doing, he knew what he was doing.” Evans was, he said, “like a drunken 14 year old at a school disco who couldn’t chat you up with words”. Another witness present confirmed they also saw Evans put his hand down the man’s trousers. Under cross-examination, the alleged victim played down the incident, saying “he was just being drunk Nigel” and that he didn’t consider himself the victim of a crime.

The second alleged victim told the court a “very clearly very heavily intoxicated” Evans put his hands down his trousers at Tory party conference in 2003. He said he told Conor Burns, now a  Tory MP, that Evans was subsequently put to bed. He said he told then junior whip Mark Hoban what had happened and that he considered it something he could leave the whips to resolve. The alleged victim described Evans as “a drunken letch at a bar” and said that “although I thought his behaviour was unacceptable I didn’t want it to be pursued.”

The third alleged victim claimed Evans tried to kiss him at parliament’s Strangers bar. He said that when he left the bar to use the bathroom Evans called him into another room and leaned in to kiss him. He told him “No, we’re not doing that” and pushed him away. A friend later dismissed the incident, saying “that’s what Nigel can be like”. The trial continues…

Via @stepholiversky, @evansma, @rachelsmithlep and @joshhalliday.



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Quote of the Day

David Cowling, the BBC’s head of political research, in an internal memo…

“It seems to me that the London bubble has to burst if there is to be any prospect of addressing the issues that have brought us to our current situation. There are many millions of people in the UK who do not enthuse about diversity and do not embrace metropolitan values yet do not consider themselves lesser human beings for all that. Until their values and opinions are acknowledged and respected, rather than ignored and despised, our present discord will persist. Because these discontents run very wide and very deep and the metropolitan political class, confronted by them, seems completely bewildered and at a loss about how to respond (“who are these ghastly people and where do they come from?” doesn’t really hack it). The 2016 EU referendum has witnessed the cashing in of some very bitter bankable grudges but I believe that, throughout this 2016 campaign, Europe has been the shadow not the substance.”

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