Former Lib Dem MP Mark Oaten takes top fur trade job

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Mark Oaten, the former Liberal Democrat MP who admitted sleeping with male prostitutes, has taken a job promoting the fur trade.

In a statement, he said he was “very proud” to be the new chief of the Surrey-based International Fur Trade Federation.

Mr Oaten, 47, who voted against a ban on fox hunting, said: ”I am very proud to be joining such a successful and historic trade.

”Although we are growing from strength to strength, there are plenty of issues throughout the world that I will need to focus on.

”It is also important that we do more to promote fur internationally.

”I served for 13 years as a member of parliament in the UK and for four years on the Council of Europe, so I know how important effective lobbying can be.”

The married father-of-two stepped down as an MP a year after his affairs with male prostitutes were revealed.

At the time, he said male pattern baldness and a mid-life crisis had contributed to his extra-marital activities.

It was suggested he had enjoyed threesomes and sex play involving humiliation, while more extreme acts were hinted at.

In 2009, he claimed that much of what had been reported was untrue but said he couldn’t sue because it “would drag everything up”.

His new role has angered animal rights groups and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it was a “disgrace”.

The group said in a statement: “[Mr] Oaten, who has identified his hair loss as the trigger for his mid-life crisis and ensuing sex scandal, is now attempting to overcompensate for his baldness by promoting an industry that violently skins fur-bearing animals, often while they’re still fully conscious.

“Fur is a disgrace and so is this former MP, so it’s a fitting choice to appoint him the new ‘face’ of the International Fur Trade Federation.”