It has been revealed that the Winchester MP, Mark Oaten, asked for an up-front fee of nearly £4,000 to appear on Channel 4’s documentary ‘Tower Block of Commons.’
Channel 4’s recent documentary showed four MPs leaving the comfort of Westminster and the House of Commons for eight nights on some of the country’s most impoverished estates. Liberal Democrat Oaten spent just over a week in Goresbrook Village in Barking, where he lived alongside residents, finding himself subject to verbal abuse. Although the show claimed that Oaten would be surviving on just £35 per week, he was in fact paid £3,700 to appear on the show. This revelation comes in the wake of the national expenses scandal.
Conservative Tim Loughton, who also appeared on the show, claimed that it actually cost him money to appear on it, as he tried to fix the toilet seats in the flat he stayed in out of his own pocket. Out of the four MPs, Oaten was the only one to ask for a fee.
In response to the allegations, Oaten stated ‘The question is actually what you do with that fee. A proportion of it went to a number of different charities and some went to the residents as well but I am not about to get into the ins and outs of that.’
This is just another set-back in Oaten’s now flailing political career; in 2006 he announced that he had a sexual relationship with another man when he was just 9 years old, and admitted to visiting male prostitutes.