Nigel Evans

Nigel Martin Evans (born 10 November 1957) is a British Conservative Party politician serving as Joint Executive Secretary of the 1922 Committee since 2017, and has served as Member of Parliament for the Ribble Valley in Lancashire since 1992. He served as First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means, one of the Speaker's three deputies, from 2010 to 2013.

Nigel Evans
Executive Secretary of the 1922 Committee
Assumed office
11 October 2017 (2017-10-11)
Serving with Bob Blackman
LeaderTheresa May
Boris Johnson
ChairmanSir Graham Brady
Cheryl Gillan
Charles Walker
Sir Graham Brady
Preceded byPeter Bone &
Sir Christopher Chope
First Deputy Chair of Ways and Means
In office
8 June 2010  10 September 2013
SpeakerJohn Bercow
Preceded bySylvia Heal
Succeeded byEleanor Laing
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
In office
11 June 2001  11 November 2003
LeaderWilliam Hague
Iain Duncan Smith
Michael Howard
Preceded byAngela Browning
Succeeded byBill Wiggin
Member of Parliament
for Ribble Valley
Assumed office
9 April 1992
Preceded byMichael Carr
Majority18,439 (33.3%)
Personal details
Nigel Martin Evans

(1957-11-10) 10 November 1957
Swansea, Wales
Political partyConservative
Independent (2013–2014)
Alma materSwansea University
WebsiteOfficial website

He is a strong critic of the European Union and supported Brexit in the 2016 EU Referendum. He has since been supportive of Leave Means Leave, a Eurosceptic campaign group[1] and backed Boris Johnson for Prime Minister.

Early life

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 newsagent's and convenience store in Swansea.

Political career

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 general election of 1987, but was defeated by former minister Alan Williams by 7,062 votes. He was selected to contest the 1989 Pontypridd by-election 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 won Ribble Valley from the Liberal Democrats at the general election of 1992, 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, he 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 general election of 1997, 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 general election of 2005.

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 television 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]

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 June 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.

In November 2009, Evans was ranked as the 570th most expensive MP out of the 646 MPs in the UK Parliament.[5] Criticism was drawn over his £375 a month expense on phone bills, and his purchase of four digital cameras in 18 months.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] Evans supported Brexit in the 2016 European Union Referendum.[9]

Political views

Evans is a supporter of the proposal to make 23 June a public holiday in the United Kingdom, to be known as British Independence Day.[10] Following a Parliamentary debate on the topic, the announcement from the government of the United Kingdom to not proceed with the holiday at present, he said it was "a shame the government has made this decision, this is an absolute belter of an idea."[11]

Personal life

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.[12][13]

On 4 May 2013, Evans was arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.[14] His trial began on 10 March 2014.[15] He was acquitted of all charges on 10 April 2014.[16] In 2012 he had supported large cuts to legal aid which became part of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO); in 2018, after losing his life savings defending himself in 2014, Evans said that the experience had shown him that "It's wrong, completely wrong, to remove people's right to have expert legal representation ... We’re definitely talking about justice being denied as a result of LASPO."[17]


  1. "Co-Chairmen - Political Advisory Board - Supporters". Leave Means Leave.
  2. Department of the Official Report (Hansard), House of Commons, Westminster. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 20 May 1992". Retrieved 29 May 2010.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. "Westminster Hall Debates – Climate Change". Hansard. 5 March 2008.
  4. "Next on 4 presentation – Transcript". Channel 4. 13 March 2008.
  5. "Nigel Evans MP Expenses Rankings". Nigel Evans MP Office. 25 November 2009.
  6. Owen, Paul (13 July 2009). "MPs' expenses: Conservative charged £375 a month for mobile phone bills". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  7. "Nigel Evans caught up in expenses film row". Lancashire Telegraph. 13 August 2009.
  8. Commons roles for two Lancashire MPs (From This Is Lancashire). (8 June 2010). Retrieved on 18 December 2010.
  9. "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence? - Coffee House". The Spectator. 16 February 2016.
  10. "Who fancies a Brexit bank holiday? One East Lancashire MP does". The Press (York). 2 November 2016.
  11. "Tory MP calls for 'Independence Day' Brexit bank holiday". The Daily Telegraph. 25 October 2016.
  12. 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.
  13. Halliday, Josh; Pidd, Helen (10 April 2014). "How case against Nigel Evans fell apart". the Guardian.
  14. Barrett, David; Watts, Robert (4 May 2013). "Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans arrested on suspicion of rape". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  15. "Nigel Evans MP: Sex charges trial starts for former deputy speaker". BBC News. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  16. "MP Nigel Evans cleared of sexual assaults". BBC News. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  17. Amelia Hill and Owen Bowcott (27 December 2018). "'It's completely wrong': falsely accused Tory MP attacks legal aid cuts". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
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
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