MP says he will go before an election

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Winchester MP Mark Oaten has confirmed he is set to stand down before the next general election.

And he has hinted that he is already in discussions with potential employers about work outside Westminster.

The father of two said he would stand down at the next general election after scandal struck in 2006 when it was revealed he had had an affair with a male prostitute.

Responding to rumours he was set to quit the seat imminently Mr Oaten, 44, told The News: 'I can promise that I'm not sitting in my office about to sign a contract.'

'I've always been very open about the fact I may not stay till the next elections and the position remains the same.

'At this stage my plan is to quit early, and I'm having conversations with people about certain things.'

In November The News reported the MP had put his 650,000 home in Bramdean, near Alresford, up for sale.

Mr Oaten said he'd put the house on the market because there was speculation that a snap general election could be called.

But when Prime Minister Gordon Brown ruled out a poll before 2009, the Winchester MP said he would continue to look for a new job so that his family weren't left in limbo.

He has hinted at a possible move to America to work as a media consultant, but has refused to say for definite whether he'll leave Hampshire or the UK.