Ed Miliband wades into Ched Evans row

MP Ed Miliband
MP Ed Miliband
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Labour leader and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband has stepped into the row over rapist footballer Ched Evans saying he wouldn’t sign him.

The MP made his comments after it emerged that League One side Oldham Athletic appeared to be set to pull the plug on signing the former Sheffield United star after a backlash from fans.

The convicted rapist, 26, was set to join on a long-term deal and train with the club on Monday. But 20,000 people have signed an online petition urging the Latics not to sign Evans.

Oldham are due to take on Doncaster Rovers next Saturday.

Commenting on the story Mr Miliband said he believed that footballers are role models and said he would not sign Evans.

“Personally, if I was in their shoes, he hasn’t shown remorse and I wouldn’t take him on,” Miliband told BBC Radio Manchester.

Evans was jailed in 2012 for raping a girl in a hotel. He continues to maintain his innocence, saying the sex was consensual and has never apologised.

He held talks with former club Sheffield United about a return to football, but the Blades decided against signing him after an outcry from sponsors and celebrity fans including Jessica Ennis and former Beautiful South frontman Paul Heaton.

Maltese club Hibernians also offered him a deal but the Ministry of Justice said rules prevented Evans from working abroad.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission is conducting an investigation into his conviction.