Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten has been forgiven by his wife over recent revelations of an affair with a gay rent boy.

Mr Oaten’s marriage to Belinda was cast into controversy last January after the former home affairs spokesperson resigned and dropped out of the Lib Dem leadership election amid newspaper allegations of a gay relationship with a male prostitute.

But Ms Oaten now says she has forgiven the Winchester MP and still loves him.

She told Sky News, “It’s been a very gradual process of him going back to the house, and there have been difficult times where we’ve sat down at opposite ends of the room and I’ve not really wanted to talk to him.”

She said he is slowly regaining her trust.

Mr Oaten attributed the affair to middle age and his political workload.

Ms Oaten said in an interview with Hello magazine earlier this year, “He (Mark Oaten) was under extreme pressure with the job he was doing. He felt like he was walking in treacle and I think he was just too scared to admit he could not deal with it all. It was all too much pressure and at that stage we were probably spending just 15 minutes of real time together each weekend.”

“What I do believe is that whatever Mark did, wasn’t an emotional thing, it was a physical thing.”

Mr Oaten this week announced he would quit politics at the next general election.