- CBS NEWSSen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, announced on Thursday he will soon be resigning from the U.S. Senate, following a wave of calls for his resignation from his Democratic colleagues. Multiple women have alleged he inappropriately touched them or tried to forcibly kiss them.In the coming weeks, "I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate," Franken said on the Senate floor Thursday."Let me be clear, I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice," Franken added. "I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist."More than 30 of Franken's Democratic colleagues in the Senate, starting with New York's Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, called for him to step down, following another woman's accusation that Franken tried to kiss her against her will. On Wednesday afternoon, Franken's office said he would make an announcement on Thursday, though it did not say what the topic of his announcement would be. Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with Franken Wednesday and also advised him to resign.As recently as Wednesday evening, Franken denied reports that he was preparing to resign.Once Franken departs the Senate, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, has the authority to appoint a temporary replacement. Then, eventually, a special primary election would be held, if he resigns before June. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, also a Democrat, is up for re-election next year. Franken is up for re-election in 2020.Franken's departure is the second announced on Capitol Hill in a week, after Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, announced he would be leaving the House effective immediately amid allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment leveled against him.Follow along for live updates below:
Franken concludes his speechFranken concluded his speech, and silence overtook the Senate chamber.
"I would do it all over again in a heartbeat"Franken recognized Thursday as the "worst" day of his political life, but said even so, it's been worth it."I would do it all over again in a heartbeat," he said.
"I'm going to be just fine"Franken recognized his family, saying he was lucky."I'm going to be just fine," he said.
Franken applauds his colleagues, people he representsFranken took time to recognize his colleague, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and recognized the talent and diligent work of the people of Minnesota.
"I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate"Franken said he will be resigning in the coming weeks.In the coming weeks, "I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate," Franken said."Let me be clear, I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice," Franken added. "I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist."
"Some of the allegations against me are simply not true," Franken says"Some of the allegations against me are simply not true," Franken said.Others, he added, he remembers quite differently. Franken said he has thought the Senate Ethics Committee was the appropriate venue for handling those allegations.
Franken begins speakingFranken said a couple of months ago he believed a movement was beginning in which people had begun to believe women."The moment was long overdue," he said."Then the conversation turned to me," he added, saying he was "shocked" and "upset."
Franken arrives at the CapitolFranken and his wife arrive at the Capitol, at 11:46 a.m.The senator is making his way to the Senate floor, where he is expected to speak soon.
Franken about to speak; Schumer to attendFranken is scheduled to speak on the Senate floor soon.Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who called on him to resign Wednesday, will be present, according to an email sent to key Democratic staffers.
Deputy House of Commons Speaker Nigel Evans has said he is "overwhelmed" by the support he has received since being arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.
The Conservative MP, who denies any wrongdoing, said he had gone through the "worst two days of my life", but added that he was back at work.
Mr Evans said he would be in the Commons for Wednesday Queen's Speech.
He was questioned by Lancashire police on Saturday.
Mr Evans, facing allegations he raped a man and sexually assaulted another, has asked to be excused from chairing debates on the Queen's Speech.'Fantastic support'
Making a statement on College Green, near Parliament, he said: "I've been in work since half past seven this morning getting on with looking at many of the emails that have come in, not just from constituents but from throughout the world, giving me support and sympathy for what I'm alleged to have done.
"I'm overwhelmed with the number of colleagues who have come up to me as well who are basically, you know MPs don't shake hands, well I have never shaken so many MPs' hands as I have today, and giving me support, which is really helping me to get through this."
Mr Evans said he was continuing work for his Ribble Valley constituency, which had shown him "fantastic support" over the "worst two days of my life".
He said he was having "just a few days off chair duty" but would continue having his regular meetings with Commons Speaker John Bercow.
Mr Evans' solicitor has already said the MP does not intend to quit as deputy speaker or as an MP.
The 55-year-old was questioned on Saturday about the alleged attacks on two men between July 2009 and March 2013 in Pendleton, Lancashire, and bailed until June.
Mr Evans, MP for Ribble Valley since 1992 - who came out as gay in 2010 - was elected as one of three Commons deputy speakers three years ago.