A few months ago he was challenging for the leadership of his party but the disgraced Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten has announced that he will be leaving Westminster at the next General Election.  After the News of the World exposed his liaisons with a rent boy he resigned as the LibDems’ home affairs spokesman.  He did not help his rehabilitation when he appeared to blame his behaviour on a midlife crisis triggered by rapid balding.

The Winchester Liberal Democrats have been in turmoil since the News of the World story and one local councillor recently defected to the Tories.  The Tories took control of Winchester City Council on 4th May.

George Hollingbery, the Tory candidate for Winchester at last year’s General Election, gave a perfectly pitched statement to the BBC about Mr Oaten’s decision:

"There has been speculation that he should step down, so I’m not surprised.  The recent district council elections here in Winchester also demonstrated that voters did not like what Mark did and voted his party from power. I wish him and his family the best of luck in their future.  There is no doubt Mark has been a diligent MP for Winchester, but politically his time was over."