THE Conservative MP and deputy speaker Nigel Evans is today expected to admit that he is homosexual.
The MP, who voted against flagship reforms on homosexuality, will reveal his true sexual orientation because he is fed up of living his life as a lie, it was reported yesterday. Evans, who has the full support of David Cameron and his constituency party, has never been married and does not have a long-term male lover.
His sexuality has been an open secret for some time at Westminster. He has been a regular attender at events organised by Stonewall, the campaign group fighting for the equality of same sex relationships.
In the past, however, Evans has opposed reform of laws governing homosexuality, backed keeping the homosexual age of consent at 21 in a 1998. However, supporters of lowering the age to 16 prevailed.
In 2003, however, he fell in line with the equal rights movement when he voted for the repeal of Section 28, which banned local authorities from promoting homosexuality in a positive light.
Last night there was speculation that his decision to come out was an attempt to clear up any confusion about his private life ahead of an attempt to promote himself as a future candidate to become Speaker.
Tomorrow Evans is expected to attend the launch of ParliOut - the first such support group for gay politicians, their staff and other Parliamentary staff. There are now 22 openly homosexual MPs, of which more than half are Tories.
Labour former minister Chris Bryant - a member of the group - said: "Glad to see Nigel Evans is 'coming out'. An open secret in parliament for years," he wrote on social networking site Twitter.