Former Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Mark Oaten spoke to the public for the first time since tabloid allegations of a gay sex scandal, to reveal his desire to stay in Parliament.

Mr Oaten, who has kept a low profile over the last couple of weeks, told his local paper, the Hampshire Chronicle, he wanted to remain an MP but insisted that his priority was to salvage his marriage following reports that he paid a rent boy for sex.

The MP, who has returned to Westminster, is said to be battling to save his marriage with wife Belinda.

But in the interview with the Hampshire Chronicle, Mr Oaten said he had been heartened by messages of support from around the UK.

He went on to say that he would like to remain as the MP for Winchester, despite some strong local opposition.

Simon Hughes, who has himself been subject to media criticism after revealing he was gay, has confirmed that he would welcome Oaten back to the front bench if he secures the leadership.