Whip restored to cleared MP Evans

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The Conservative Party has restored the whip to MP Nigel Evans after he was cleared of committing a string of sexual offences.

Mr Evans, who represents Ribble Valley and stepped down as Commons deputy speaker to fight the allegations, was brought back into the Tory ranks following a meetingyesterday with Chief Whip Sir George Young.

It comes just over two weeks after a jury unanimously found the 56-year-old not guilty of nine allegations after a five-week trial.

The decision to prosecute him was widely criticised.

Mr Evans said: “I am delighted to have the Conservative Whip again. This represents a full stop after the events of the past 11 months.”

Mr Evans, who faces a £130,000 legal bill despite being acquitted of all charges against him, intends to campaign to reform the law so people who are wrongly accused are not left with crippling debts.