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Nigel Evans: Call For Resignation 'A Big Ask'
It would have been "a big ask" for MP Nigel Evans to resign after an allegation of sexual assault, a court has heard.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin gave evidence for the prosecution on Monday in the trial of the former deputy speaker, who faces charges of indecent or sexual assault and one charge of rape.
Preston Crown Court has heard the alleged victim came forward in 2009 when Mr McLoughlin was chief whip for the Conservative Party.
The man - a worker at Westminster - said he had been staying at Evans' constituency home in Lancashire when he was allegedly assaulted.
He claimed he was sleeping on a sofa when the MP allegedly put his hand inside his boxer shorts.
Days later he met Mr McLaughlin and called for Evans to resign.
Giving evidence, Mr McLaughlin described the request as "a big ask" and added: "He was asking him to give up his entire parliamentary career."
He said he spoke to Evans, who is MP for Ribble Valley, and urged him to curb his drinking and to consider coming out as gay.
He added he told the MP not to "allow himself to get into similar situations in future".
Former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik also gave evidence on Monday and said there was a "not very savoury" exchange between himself and another of the alleged victims in a House of Commons bar.
He said: "I went to buy a round of drinks, inviting the people in Nigel Evans' group to tell me who wanted a drink.
"The gentleman in question I believe said something quite offensive because I had forgotten to get him a drink."
Mr Opik, who lost his seat in 2010, said he thought the young man's behaviour was "entirely inappropriate".
He said: "I don't think anyone in their right mind could think I would be entertained by that behaviour.
"My judgment was that he was playing to the gallery, if nobody else had been listening he probably would not have said it.
"I didn't think anyone found it funny, how could it be funny?"
Mr Opik told the jury he did not see any physical contact between the young man and Evans while he was at the bar.
The complainant claims Evans "cupped his genitals" while they among a group of people drinking at the Strangers Bar.
He told the court: "We were chatting and Nigel reached out and grabbed my genitals, basically. Going in for a cup, I guess.
"That is when I brushed it (his hand) away and said 'no, that's not cool'."
When Peter Wright QC, defending Evans, suggested he made the incident up he added: "He cupped my genitals. It is building up a case where he should not be in a position of power where stuff like this happens and is swept under the carpet."
Evans denies two indecent assault, six sexual assaults and one charge of rape. The accusations relate to a total of seven men.
The trial continues.