Oaten quits in rent boy scandal

LIBERAL Democrat MP Mark Oaten has quit his post as home affairs spokesman after admitting an affair with a rent boy.The 41-year-old married father of two yesterday apologised to his family and party for what he described as “errors of judgement” in his personal behaviour.

By Graham Dines

LIBERAL Democrat MP Mark Oaten has quit his post as home affairs spokesman after admitting an affair with a rent boy.

The 41-year-old married father of two yesterday apologised to his family and party for what he described as “errors of judgement” in his personal behaviour.

It plunged his party into turmoil - just two weeks ago Charles Kennedy was forced to quit as the Lib Dem's leader after admitting a long-rumoured drink problem and at the weekend Lord McNally, leader of the Lib Dems in the Lord, admitted he was an alcoholic in the 1980s..


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The announcement of Mr Oaten's resignation came after reporters from the News of the World confronted him at his Hampshire home with evidence of the relationship with the male prostitute.

In bidding for the leadership, Mr Oaten had played the family card, inviting the cameras into his home to film him sitting down for a meal with his wife and children.

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Although Mr Oaten's leadership bid ran out of steam on Thursday, he was regarded as one of the party's rising stars and could have expected to have played a prominent role in the frontbench team of Mr Kennedy's successor. He was on the right of the party, one of the so-called Orange Book economic liberals. He has been MP for Winchester since 1997.

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