London: A top British Conservative MP has been arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault from Pendleton in Lancashire.
Nigel Evans, 55, Deputy Speaker in the House of Commons was arrested in the village of Pendleton near Clitheroe on suspicion of rape and sexual assault, a spokesman for Lancashire Police said yesterday.
The alleged victims are understood to be men in their 20s.
It is understood that Prime Minister David Cameron has been made aware of the arrest.
A House of Commons spokesman declined to comment and said it was a police matter.
The police said, "The man will be interviewed at a police station in Lancashire during the course of the day."
"The offences are alleged to have been committed in Pendleton between July 2009 and March 2013. We take all allegations of a sexual nature extremely seriously and understand how difficult it can be for victims to have the confidence to come forward," police said.
"As a Constabulary, we are committed to investigating sexual offences sensitively but robustly recognising the impact that these types of crimes have on victims," they said.
"We would encourage anyone who has experienced sexual abuse, or who has information about it, to have the confidence to report it to us knowing that we will take it seriously, deal with it sensitively and investigate it thoroughly," they said.
Conservative MP Evans, who is from Swansea and represents Ribble Valley in Lancashire, was promoted to Deputy Speaker in 2010.
He came out as gay that same year, saying that he was "tired of living a lie".
He has previously been a vice chairman of the Conservative Party from 1999 to 2001.
Under Iain Duncan Smith`s leadership of the party, he was promoted to the shadow cabinet as shadow Welsh secretary - a post he held for two years.