FORMER Winchester MP Mark Oaten has resigned from the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Oaten, who represented the city from 1997 to 2010, tweeted a letter from the party confirming his resignation.

In the tweet he said: “Joined party in 1982. Tough call to leave but don’t feel any of the current parties are worth voting for.”

Mr Oaten is now chief executive of the trade body, the International Fur Federation.

At one stage Mr oaten was a front bench spokesman for the party and stood for the leadership before allegations in a national Sunday newspaper led him to step down from the contest.

He was one part of the so-called Golden Triangle of Lib Dem seats, in Winchester, Romsey and Eastleigh, formerly a Conservative heartland and now once again held by the Tories.

In an email to the Chronicle, Mr Oaten said: “For sometime I have felt that all three main parties have lost direction with poor leadership and lacking vision. I think, like many people, I feel let down by the politicians and system.

“Whilst I have great fondness for the Liberal Democrats I can’t hand on heart say that they offer a solution to the current problems the country faces

“I have resigned from the party so I can take time to see what happens next in British politics. I hope that there will be change. The old parties need to reform or perhaps a new party will emerge and provide a better alternative.

“I have not been involved in politics for eight years but I hope that in the future I can re engage and become more involved - but at the moment I could not support any party.

“I look back on my 13 years as Winchester’s MP with great affection and hope I served the city well and wish my old Lib Dems well at a local level on the city council.

“Life is good for me at the moment I spend my time living with my boyfriend by the sea in Southsea and in London and travelling around the world for work.

“This time away from politics has given me a chance to look at the political system as a outsider. I don’t like what I see. There has to be a better way ahead.”