IN the Clitheroe street they came up, hugged Mr Evans and shook his hand.

People stopped the MP to urge him to stand again next year.

Hazel Lancaster, aged 72 from Clitheroe. said: “I told him stand up, don’t stand down.

“He’s been a great MP and helped me when my husband Robert lost his leg. I want him to stand will vote for him.”

Bert Walmsley, aged 92 from Waddington, said: “I am pleased for him. I will vote for him. I feel sorry for what he gone through.”

Welshwoman Olwen Flynn, 72, a former constituent, now living in Fulwood, Preston, said: “I would vote for him. I never doubted he was innocent.”

They were examples of what Clitheroe Mayor Kevin Horkin called ‘a fantastic reaction’ to Mr Evans’ acquittal.

Despite this outpouring of support, the MP has a hard task to recover his reputation after the picture painted at the trial.

It will not be easy to convince his party and Ribble Valley voters he is a fit and proper person to represent them after May next year.