A Conservative MP has joined forces with Sir Cliff Richard in a bid to change the law to protect the anonymity of those accused of sexual assault and rape. Nigel Evans, a former Commons deputy speaker and Ribble Valley MP, wept in the dock after a jury at Preston Crown Court unanimously found him not guilty of nine sexual allegations, including one of rape, following a five-week trial in 2014.
Over the weekend, Mr Evans met with Sir Cliff and radio DJ Paul Gambaccini in Surrey to discuss plans to set up a victims support group for those wrongly accused of sexual assault.
Mr Evans posted a photograph of the three men on Facebook following their meeting with the caption “Old and new friends”.
He told the Telegraph: “The three of us have gone through this torture, and we have come through it and we now want to do some good. I think a lot of people do understand, but not fully. You have to go through the torture, you have to go through the fire, in order to know exactly how the burns and scars are earned.”
The singer, broadcaster and MP are also aiming to campaign for anonymity for sexual assault defendants before charge.
Sir Cliff was publicly named as a suspect in a sex abuse investigation during a probe into historical allegations.
The entertainer was offered an apology by South Yorkshire Police after the Crown Prosecution Service dropped the case last month.
Mr Gambaccini was cleared of sexual offences under Operation Yewtree, after being arrested on suspicion of historical sex crimes in 2013.
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