Mensch denies general election fear
The former Tory MP Louise Mensch has denied she quit parliament because she knew defeat was certain at the next general election.
Mrs Mensch always claimed she left her job as MP for Corby in Northamptonshire in August because she wanted to spend more time with her family in New York.
Her husband Peter Mensch, who manages the band Metallica, has claimed she actually quit because she thought it would be impossible to retain her marginal seat at the general election in 2015.
In an interview with The Sunday Times newspaper, the 59-year-old said: "Did we talk about moving to England instead? Yeh, of course, but the problem was any number of issues.
"Number one, Louise's ex-husband (and father of her three children) is American and has moved back there. Then there was my business. In 2005 I moved away from New York for six months because my ex-wife wanted to live in Europe, and it was proved it didn't run as well.
"Then there was Louise's belief that she was only going to be an MP for three more years. She thought - and I wasn't going to argue with her - that she'd get killed at the next election. So, to her, it seemed much more short-term than my job as a manager, which is going to go on for another 20 years.
"And listen, they hadn't promoted her yet, and it's not like she thought she had a future because perhaps she felt she was too outspoken. She was doing her own thing regardless and maybe wasn't 'Conservative party enough' to move up the food chain."
The claims sparked what appeared to be a good humoured marital spat on Twitter, with Mrs Mensch - a former chick-lit novelist - describing her second husband, who she married last year, as confused.
"Can honestly say I had no fear whatsoever of defeat at next election since had already decided not to stand again," she tweeted.
Mrs Mensch, 41, added: "However: nothing, repeat nothing, influenced decision to resign other than inability to hold family life together away from him."