RIBBLE Valley MP Nigel Evans has denied in court allegations of sexual offences against seven men.

Evans, the former deputy speaker of the House of Commons, entered formal not guilty pleas to all charges during a pre-trial hearing at Preston Crown Court.

The 56-year-old stood in the dock, hands clasped at his front, to repeat ‘not guilty’ as each charge was put to him.

An extra count of sexual assault was added to the indictment, making nine charges in all.

He denies two counts of indecent assault, six of sexual assault and one of rape. The charges date from 2002 to April 1, last year.

Evans resigned as Commons deputy speaker after he was charged on September 10.

Evans was granted bail by the judge until his trial date, which has been set for March 10.

The Swansea-born MP, who lives in Pendleton, was one of three deputy speakers elected in a secret ballot of MPs in 2010.

Evans was also a vice-chairman of the Conservative Party from 1999 to 2001.