Former Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans has told a jury it is "ridiculous" that he is being depicted as "a cross between Alan Clark, Benny Hill and Oscar Wilde".

The 56-year-old is on trial over allegations that he sexually abused seven young men on various dates between 2002 and last year by using his "powerful" political influence to take advantage of them.

Yesterday, Evans was cross-examined on the nine separate allegations he faces by prosecutor Mark Heywood QC. He told Preston Crown Court that the claims against him had effectively ended any ambitions of him becoming Speaker.

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Referring to the first two allegations that, while in public, he placed his hand in the trousers of men, Mr Heywood asked him: "There is evidence in each of these two incidents that what took place was without any eye contact. Was this you using hands where words were not available to you?"

Evans replied: "No. It is trying to make me out to be a cross between Alan Clark (the late Tory politician), Benny Hill and Oscar Wilde.

"It's ridiculous. The answer is no."

He has pleaded not guilty to one rape, two indecent assaults, five sexual assaults and one attempted sexual assault. The trial continues.