Former Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten has finally admitted to himself that he is gay.
‘I’m clear about my sexuality’ Oaten told BBC Radio 5.
In 2006, Oaten crashed out of politics after the News of the World published details of his six-month affair with a male sex worker.
At the time, he was married. He and Belinda had two daughters together.
But, Oaten said, he is now in a relationship with a man. The pair live together.
‘I can be who I am now. I just wish I’d done it earlier.’
‘It’s something which is difficult for me to say’ Oaten said on the radio show.
‘I clearly had sexual doubts earlier on in my life, but I was very, very happily married and really, really enjoyed being a dad and married as well’.
Oaten said his family, including his daughters, had been supportive.
‘And for people listening to this, if they are in that situation I would say, address it sooner rather than later if you can, because I’m so much happier now’.
‘Seedy, bullying men’s club’
Before the scandal, Oaten was a rising star in the Liberal Democrats. He was poised to take over as leader from Charles Kennedy.
In the Radio 5 interview, Oaten blamed the Westminster working environment for driving him to seek out relations with sex workers.
He said the Houses of Parliament had ‘a horrid culture, and I believe it’s still the same’.
‘I would almost describe Westminster as this seedy, bullying men’s club.’
Asked if he could re-enter politics he said he didn’t feel ‘comfortable’ at the moment. ‘If something and fresh came along in the future, who knows?’ He asked.
The full interview with Mark Oaten will broadcast on The Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday 14 January 2019 from 10am.
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Author: Rik Glauert