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UK legislator denies assault charges

LONDON — A senior British Conservative Party politician arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault said Sunday the allegations against him are ‘‘completely false.’’

Deputy House of ­Commons Speaker Nigel Evans, 55, was arrested on Saturday.

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He was questioned about sex offenses that allegedly took place between July 2009 and March 2013 and was later released on bail.

Evans — who has served in Parliament for two decades and is one of Britain’s most prominent gay lawmakers — said the allegations were made by ‘‘two people well known to each other,’’ and who until a day earlier he had regarded as friends.

‘‘The complaints are completely false and I cannot understand why they have been made, especially as I have continued to socialize with one as recently as last week,’’ he said, thanking colleagues and friends who echoed his own ‘‘sense of incredulity’’ over the allegations.

He did not address whether he would stay on as deputy speaker in his brief prepared statement on Sunday, but a spokesman for the House of Commons confirmed that Evans had asked to be excused from chairing the Queen’s Speech debate, due to start on Wednesday.

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