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Former MP Mark Oaten says he is now 'comfortable' with his sexuality 13 years after a sex scandal ruined his career

The Liberal Democrat was in running to be the potential leader of the party

2019-01-14

Words: Steve Brown

A former MP whose career was destroyed after he was outed back in 2006 has said he is now “comfortable being gay”.

Back in 2006, the former Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten was reported to have been having group encounters with male sex workers and at the time he was a married father and a candidate to lead the party.

But now, while speaking BBC Radio 5 Live, Oaten said he is now “comfortable” with his sexuality 13 years after the scandal which destroyed his career.

He told host Emma Barnett: “I’m gay now and I’m comfortable with being gay and I’m clear about my sexuality.

“I haven’t actually said it until now in an interview. It’s something which is difficult for me to say.

“It still feels difficult for me to say, but increasingly I’m comfortable and happy about that, and feel in a comfortable place to say that to you today.

“But it’s been a long journey to get me to that point.

“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.

“It’s a real contradiction. You know I think there are a lot of people out there who have this contradiction….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.

“It’s something my friends have known about now, my girls know about, and my mum… [for] the last year, year-and-a-half. I’ve got a partner, we live together.

“I have a group of great gay friends. It’s great, I can be who I am now. I just wish I’d done it earlier.”