Oaten: I might quit early

Ten years after his sensational 1997 election victory over Tory Gerry Malone was confirmed by a landslide by-election, Mark Oaten has said he might quit politics before the next election if a too-good-to-refuse job offer comes along.

Speaking to the Hampshire Chronicle, Mark is reported saying:

he did not intend to trigger a by-election but “couldn’t rule it out”. … if the “right job and the right move” came up for him and his wife, he would “give it serious consideration”. The father-of-two said: “I hope people understand. There is so much uncertainty over when an election will be, that I also have to think of my future.” …

The MP paid tribute to the support of his family, friends and constituents for helping him get his life back on track. He admitted he had “never been a parliamentary man”, but said one thing he did get right was changing how an MP worked locally. Mr Oaten said he had kept his promise to be active and accountable locally, instead of a remote figure in Westminster.

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15 Comments

  • dominic hannigan 22nd Nov '07 - 2:52pm

    I felt that my comments would be best placed in the forum

  • Sounds a bit like Jane Griffiths after she was deselected for Reading East. Nobody offered her a job and there was no by-election.

  • Angus J Huck 22nd Nov '07 - 3:25pm

    Whenever the name “Mark Oaten” is mentioned, my hackles rise.

    The man is a shameless, narcissistic egotist of the first order.

    First he tells us he is fed up with politics and doesn’t really like being an MP. But he isn’t fed up the salary, so he holds on to office.

    Now he announces that if someone offers him a really good job (which pays more than being an MP), then he might reconsider.

    Mark Oaten was elected by the people of Winchester to be their MP for the lifetime of this Parliament, and he shouldn’t be allowed to forget it.

    The man will do ANYTHING for publicity and self-promotion, even to the extent of discussing his private life in public. How low can you get?

    It’s time Nick Clegg scrubbed Oaten’s name off his endorsement list.

  • 4 Go on Angus … now tell us what you really think …

  • Well said, Angus! I’m a Tory living in Winchester and sick to the back teeth of the man. Here’s hoping he does actually bugger off and force that by-election then we can finally get someone decent in the seat! Big it up for Steve Brine is what I say!!

  • Angus J Huck 22nd Nov '07 - 4:26pm

    No 6. The long-term is not a problem. Martin Tod will prove an excellent MP for Winchester. Nonetheless, Mark Oaten was elected to serve a full term, and should do so. MPs who bugger off when they feel like it cost us, the taxpayers, money.

    Mark Oaten is the only current Lib Dem MP who genuinely did contemplate joining the Conservatives. Half of me wishes he had done (he would be better off there). But the rest of me says he was elected as a Liberal Democrat to serve a full term as a Liberal Democrat.

  • 8, Duncan Borrowman, so I have been told, but his popularity hasn’t actually been measured after his scandal. Meanwhile, Lib Dems have lost their hold of the Winchester Council.

    I’m sure that like Angus J Huck said, Martin Tod will make a great MP, but at this point I’m not sure that Mark Oaten would still be re-elected if he stood.

  • A few years ago I went to a public meeting on mobile phone masts chaired by Mark Oaten in Winchester. I was genuinely impressed by the man and his ability to keep a large group of people with disparate views in order. Give him and his family a break. You’ll regret his departure as I fear we’ll not see a Libdem elected in Winchester for a long time once he goes.

  • It is really sad that Mark did not stand down at the end of his second term as he considered doing. He would then have been remembered as a superb constituency member (which most people still regard him as being) rather than for anything that has happened since. I cannot believe that the electors of Winchester will choose a total nonentity like Steve Brine over Martin Tod though.

  • Mark should let us have a by-election, take a beating then and then win the seat back a the GE.

  • Hywel Morgan 22nd Nov '07 - 9:25pm

    “Whatever bits of Mark Oaten are deeply annoying, he is an incredibly popular MP with his constituents. His dealing with casework is an often mentioned attribute.”

    Don’t they say the same about Ian Paisley though?

  • Interesting this. What if the Lib Dems got a by-election to test the new leader? Not sure if that would be helpful or not??

    Personally, I like Mark. I have always found him a very nice and able politician and I am sad that it turned out this way.

  • Better to set a timetable and move on than wait for
    events.
    The ppc would then have time to identify key battle grounds and start branding. Oaten and his position are secondary to needs of the constituency.

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