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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 May 2006, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Oaten tells of 'mid-life crisis'
Mark Oaten
Mr Oaten quit as the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman
Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten has told how the pressure of work and a mid-life crisis prompted him to have an affair with a male prostitute.

The married father-of-two said "unhappiness" at work and losing his hair had contributed to the affair.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, he said he had regularly considered "throwing in the towel" on his job.

He said his wife, Belinda, had thrown her wedding ring at him and tried to hit him on learning of the affair.

Mr Oaten, who admitted the affair with a male escort in January, told the paper that he had been looking forward to a quiet weekend when he was confronted by journalists from the News Of the World.

He said it had not occurred to him to deny the affair but had known his family life "had just been blown apart".

The problem was undoubtedly compounded by my dramatic loss of hair in my late thirties
Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten

Life as a frontbench MP was a seven-day a week job with "little time to sit down and think about what's actually going on", he continued.

"I had a real sense of transferring ownership of my life to the party and I was never able to adjust to becoming public property."

Mr Oaten told how, leading up to the affair, he had had "something of a mid-life crisis".

He added: "I was turning 40 and I really felt that I was losing my youth.

"The problem was undoubtedly compounded by my dramatic loss of hair in my late thirties.

"This really knocked me for six. I started to look noticeably older."

The Winchester MP, who resigned as the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman following the affair with the 23-year-old rent boy, told the newspaper he accepts he will always be known as a "scandal MP".

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