DAVID Atkinson was the MP for Bournemouth East for nearly 30 years.

He was described as “excellent and dedicated” - a diligent politician.

In office there was not the faintest odour of scandal attaching to him. After he stepped down, he revealed he was gay and entered into a civil partnership.

He had been leading a double life. Now, two years after his death his ex-wife and son have spoken out with claims about Mr Atkinson’s sexual behaviour. The allegations may not come as any huge surprise in the great scheme of things. More of a surprise is his family’s decision to talk about it.