A FORMER Winchester MP has denied claims he is planning a shock return to politics.

Mark Oaten was back in Lib Dem colours earlier this month to offer his services at May's council election.

Volunteering to write leaflets and knock on doors, it was the first time in five years he had attended a local party meeting.

It led to rumours that the MP from 1997 to 2010 was planning to run for Winchester City Council, taking the seat of the retiring Richard Izard in Twyford and Colden Common ward.

But Mr Oaten flatly denied the claim.

"I'm not running for the general election, not running for the local election, not running for a bus, not running for a taxi," he told the Chronicle.

"It's something that you think about – you want to support the party and help in any way you can – but I'm just not in the country enough for it to work and I couldn't give the commitment I would want."

Ten years ago this month Mr Oaten resigned from the Lib Dem front bench following a tabloid scandal over his affair with a rent boy.

He now splits his time between Twyford and Brussels, where he is chief executive of the International Fur Trade Federation.