Mark Oaten’s hellish week

by Stephen Tall on January 21, 2006

What a hellish end to a hellish week for Mark Oaten.

The rent-boy allegations in tomorrow’s News of the World will be immensely painful to him, and those who know him; and it’s right that he should have stepped down immediately so that he can get his life back in some order.

The Liberal Democrats are a proudly tolerant party, and an individual’s private life – however messy – is strictly their own concern.

But I am left scratching my head in utter bewilderment that he could have considered standing for the leadership of the party – to succeed a man who was forced to resign because of personal problems – when this story was lingering in the shadows.