Nigel Evans

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This article is about the British politician. For the British documentary filmmaker, see Nigel Randell Evans.
Nigel Evans
Nigel Evans.jpg
First Deputy Chair of Ways and Means
In office
8 June 2010 – 10 September 2013
Speaker John Bercow
Preceded by Sylvia Heal
Succeeded by Eleanor Laing
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
In office
11 June 2001 – 11 November 2003
Leader William Hague
Iain Duncan Smith
Michael Howard
Preceded by Angela Browning
Succeeded by Bill Wiggin
Member of Parliament
for Ribble Valley
Assumed office
9 April 1992
Preceded by Michael Carr
Majority 14,769 (28.3%)
Personal details
Born Nigel Martin Evans
(1957-11-10) 10 November 1957 (age 59)
Swansea, Wales
Nationality Welsh
Political party Conservative
Independent (2013–2014)
Alma mater Swansea University
Website Official website

Nigel Martin Evans (born 10 November 1957) is a British politician. Since 1992 he has been Member of Parliament for the Ribble Valley constituency, representing the Conservative Party until 2013, when he became an Independent. He was First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means, one of the Speaker's three deputies, from 2010 until his resignation in 2013, after allegations of crimes for which he was acquitted at trial.

On 8 September 2014, Evans was reselected to stand as a Conservative candidate for Ribble Valley.[1] He was re-elected in the subsequent 2015 general election.

Early life[edit]

Evans was born on 10 November 1957 in Swansea. He was educated locally at the Dynevor School, and at University College of Swansea, where he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics in 1979. He was involved in the management of his family's newsagency and convenience store in Swansea.

Political career[edit]

In 1985, Evans was elected as a councillor to the West Glamorgan County Council. In 1990 he became the deputy Conservative group leader, before standing down as a councillor in 1991. He contested Swansea West at the 1987 general election but was defeated by former minister Alan Williams by 7,062 votes. He was selected to contest the Pontypridd by-election, 1989 following the death of Brynmor John, the seat's Labour MP.

He was defeated by Kim Howells in Pontypridd by 10,794 votes. He fought his third election in one parliament when he was selected to contest the very safe Conservative seat of Ribble Valley in the by-election caused by the resignation of David Waddington to become the Leader of the House of Lords in 1990, but was again defeated at the Ribble Valley by-election on 7 March 1991 when Mike Carr gained the seat for the Liberal Democrats by 4,601 votes.

Evans regained Ribble Valley from the Liberal Democrats at the 1992 general election defeating Carr by 6,542 votes, and has remained the constituency's MP since then. He made his maiden speech on 20 May 1992.[2] He was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Secretary of State for Employment David Hunt in 1993 and remained Hunt's PPS when he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1994. In 1995, Evans became the PPS to Tony Baldry the Minister of State at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in 1995, and in 1996 became the PPS to the new Secretary of State for Wales William Hague.

With the Conservative Party not winning a single seat in Wales at the 1997 general election, Evans was drafted onto the frontbench by John Major as a spokesman on Welsh Affairs. He became a member of the Shadow Cabinet under Iain Duncan Smith as the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales from 2001 to 2003. He had publicly criticised the government for not having a dedicated Secretary of State for Wales in a cabinet post, so when the new Conservative leader Michael Howard decided to take the role outside of the Shadow Cabinet, Evans chose to return to the backbenches.

He became a member of both the Trade and Industry the Welsh Affairs Select Committees in 2003; and in November 2004, he was appointed a Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party, with specific responsibility for overseeing Conservatives Abroad and mobilising the Conservative vote overseas. He returned to the back-benches on the election of David Cameron in 2005 deciding to dedicate more time to his work on the Council of Europe and Western European Union. He has been a member of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee since the 2005 general election.

On the issue of climate change, Evans has expressed his belief in the solar variation theory and the causes of warming on the earth and on other planets being sunspots,[3] and praised the TV documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle as "one of the best and most controversial programmes I've ever seen on television, particularly for those who don't like being spoonfed by Al Gore".[4]

Nigel Evans voted against the introduction of the National Minimum Wage in 1999 by opposing the National Minimum Wage Act of 1998. He voted against every increase in the minimum wage thereafter and in 2009 became one of 11 MPs to back the Employment Opportunities Bill, which aimed to make the minimum wage optional, but was defeated in Parliament.[5]

In November 2009, Evans was ranked as the 570th most expensive MP out of the 646 MPs in the UK Parliament.[6] Criticism was drawn over his £375 a month expense on phone bills and his purchase of four digital cameras in 18 months.[7] Evans later drew criticism for saying that he struggled to live on his salary of over £64,000 per year. He said those comments were made in jest.[8]

On 8 June 2010, Nigel Evans was elected First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means, and a Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. This was the first time the three Deputy Speakers had been elected by secret ballot of all MPs.[9]

Evans supported Brexit in the 2016 European Union referendum.[10]

Personal life[edit]

On 18 December 2010, Evans revealed to The Mail on Sunday that he was gay, saying that he was fed up with living his life as a lie.[11]

On 4 May 2013, Nigel Evans was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.[12] Evans' trial began on 10 March 2014.[13] He was acquitted of all charges on 10 April 2014.[14]


  1. ^ "MP Nigel Evans reselected to stand in General Election". 8 September 2014 – via 
  2. ^ Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 20 May 1992". Retrieved 29 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Westminster Hall Debates – Climate Change". Hansard. 5 March 2008. 
  4. ^ "Next on 4 presentation – Transcript". Channel 4. 13 March 2008. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived 9 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Nigel Evans MP Expenses Rankings". Nigel Evans MP Office. 25 November 2009. 
  7. ^ Owen, Paul (13 July 2009). "MPs' expenses: Conservative charged £375 a month for mobile phone bills". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Nigel Evans caught up in expenses film row". Lancashire Telegraph. 13 August 2009. 
  9. ^ Commons roles for two Lancashire MPs (From This Is Lancashire). (8 June 2010). Retrieved on 18 December 2010.
  10. ^ "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence? - Coffee House". 16 February 2016. 
  11. ^ Walters, Simon (18 December 2010). "Commons Deputy Speaker tells why he is fed up living a lie". The Mail on Sunday. London. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans arrested on suspicion of rape". Daily Telegraph. 4 May 2013. Retrieved 16 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Nigel Evans MP: Sex charges trial starts for former deputy speaker". BBC News. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "MP Nigel Evans cleared of sexual assaults". BBC News. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Michael Carr
Member of Parliament
for Ribble Valley

Preceded by
Sylvia Heal
First Deputy Chair of Ways and Means
Succeeded by
Eleanor Laing
Political offices
Preceded by
Angela Browning
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Succeeded by
Bill Wiggin