MP Nigel Evans entered the witness box today and told a jury that he had not raped or sexually assaulted anyone.

The 56-year-old is alleged to have sexually assaulted seven young men on various dates between 2002 and last year by using his ‘powerful’ political influence to take advantage of them, often while drunk.

In his trial at Preston Crown Court the Ribble Valley MP denies one rape, two indecent assaults, five sexual assaults and one attempted sexual assault.

His barrister, Peter Wright QC, asked him: “Have you sexually assaulted anyone in terms of the allega-tions set out here, Mr Evans?”

The MP replied: “No, Mr Wright.”

Mr Wright then asked: “Have you raped anyone?”

Evans repeated: “No, Mr Wright.”

The Swansea-born MP, who lives in Pendleton, confirmed that he had no previous convictions and had not been arrested before these events.

Mr Wright said: “The principal allegation here that you face is having raped and sexually assaulted a young man. Did you have sexual contact with him?”

The MP said: “Yes, I did.”

The barrister continued: “Did you engage in sexual intercourse with him?”

Evans said: “Yes.”

Mr Wright said: “In terms of that activity, was it with or without his consent?”

The MP said: “Absolutely with consent."

Mr Wright went on: "And in terms of your belief to his consent, was there ever any indication that he was not consenting?"

Evans replied: “Absolutely not.”

The MP also denied that he committed two further sexual assaults against the rape complainant on the same night.

Mr Wright asked him if there was any ‘age profile’ to the people he would mix with.

Evans replied: “I would probably say not.”

Mr Wright said: “There has been evidence that you have been drunk on occasion.

Evans said: “Probably. “There is absolutely nothing peculiar to people drinking at party conferences.