Over the weekend news of rape and alleged rape migrated from the BBC to Westminster.
Media reported that MPs from across the political spectrum reacted with shock and disbelief to the news that Conservative MP Nigel Evans was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.
Nigel Evans was arrested by detectives at his home in Lancashire Saturday morning following allegations made by two men who where in heir 20s at the time of the alleged attacks.
Nigel Evans is reported to be a well liked and respected MP. In 2010 he was elected as deputy speaker for the House of Commons. He also came out as gay the same year, telling the press he was tired of dealing with threats of blackmail by political enemies. He has previously served as shadow secretary for Wales and was know as the “only Tory in Swansea”.
The Police has so far not pressed charges and Evans has denied the alligations.
If the police should decide to take further action if could have dire consequences for the Conservative party and the political cast. Respect and trust in our elected parliamentarians are already low, following expenses scandals and a growing sentiment in the public that Westminster is a ivory tower full of MPs out of touch with the real world.
Should Evans step down as MP for Ribble Valley the Tories would face a potentially difficult byelection. UKIP currently enjoys a strong favourable wind and would see it as an opportunity to get a toehold in Westminster.
Former cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell has spoken in defence of Evans and said he should stay in his job as deputy speaker and that he does not believe the accusations against Evans are true.
Hopefully a new climate is forming in Britain, opening for more victims of sexual assault to come forward with their stories. Men with position and power has seemingly enjoyed a cart blanch for sexual abuse, we must hope that age is gone and buried.
Nigel Evans is innocent until proved guilty in a court of law.