Tag Archives: lembit opik

Lembit Opik “expelled” from Lib Dems for advising Tories how to beat us

Controversial former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik has reportedly been expelled from the Liberal Democrats after he spoke at a Conservative Party event on how to beat the Lib Dems.

From Nation Cymru:

Lembit Öpik, who used to be the MP for Montgomeryshire, upset his former colleagues when he claimed the party had become a “become a parody of itself” and suggested that there is “currently no vaccine against stupidity”.

In the run up to the Senedd election, he spoke at a ‘How to Stop the Lib Dems with Lembit Öpik’ event organised by the Conservative Party.

He was introduced by former Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling, Conservative Member of Parliament for Epsom and Ewell.

I feel quite sad about this because I remember the good times. I first came across Lembit in the early 90s when he was so focused on growing the party’s membership and was making a name for himself in the north east.

Posted in News | 27 Comments

Lembit on life after defeat

Thanks to Will Barter and James King for alerting us to an interview Lembit Opik gave to Radio 4’s Saturday Live, broadcast yesterday, where he talked about the huge effect his 2010 election defeat had had on him. He had been worried about losing, but his confidence had been boosted by the data they had locally and when he was defeated, he was totally shocked. He said he’s “assumed he was going to win” and defeat hit him in 4 stages, taking him 3.5 years to turn his life around.

He described the initial disbelief and the displacement activity that led him to go pretty much straight on to Have I got news for you in the immediate aftermath of his defeat. He then described a 2 year grieving process and further period of depression before he was able to get on with his life. He talked about the “albatross” of having the reputation of having thrown away a safe Liberal Democrat seat. He also described how he came within 6 weeks of having his house repossessed when he didn’t have a Plan B to fall back on when he lost his income.

He also talked about his relationship with Gabriela Irimia from the Cheeky Girls and said that it was the most important relationship he had had. He was heartbroken when she ended it. He only used her name once in quite a long discussion about her. What surprised me was that he said that he was surprised that his personal life would affect his professional reputation. You’d think he’d never read a tabloid. He said he’d do it all again if he had his time again because nobody should tell anyone who to love.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 20 Comments

Lembit on being able to afford a pint

We read the Daily Express, so you don’t have to you.

Posted in News | 5 Comments

After Lembit: Lib Dems in Montgomeryshire select Jane “Fresh Start” Dodds to win back former liberal stronghold

Jane DoddsThe parliamentary constituency of Montgomeryshire had been a Liberal stronghold since 1880, bar four years in Margaret Thatcher’s first term. The seat of former Liberal leader Clem Davies was, however, lost by 1,184 votes to the Tories in 2010 after a massive 13% swing against three-term MP Lembit Opik.

Returning Montgomeryshire to the Liberal fold is, therefore, a top Lib Dem target in 2015. And this week the party took an important step by selecting a new candidate, Jane Dodds, and billing her candidacy as A Fresh Start:

Liberal Democrats in Montgomeryshire

Posted in Selection news | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

LibLink..Lembit Opik: We are not alone

This article deviates from our normal style of LibLink, but I thought that the fact that it’s the weekend, and Solstice Weekend at that, permitted it.

The UFOlogist at The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena, that’s The Artist Formerly Known as Lembit Opik to you and me, has been writing over at the Huffington Post on the occasion of the closure of the Government’s desk dealing with claimed alien encounters. Could there, he asks, be other life forms across the galaxies. He seems to think so:

We live on a single planet in a galaxy which may have about

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Win 2 free tickets to see Lembit Opik at Matt Forde’s ‘The Political Party’ TONIGHT

ALL-NAMES-FINAL- (1)Yes, you read that headline right. The Voice is offering 2 FREE tickets to our readers to see Lib Dem luminary Lembit Opik be interviewed on ‘The Political Party’ with Matt Forde. The event takes place TONIGHT, Wednesday 17th April, 8pm at London’s St James Theatre in Victoria.

As it’s short notice, this is simply a first-come-first-served offer: simply email [email protected] First two readers to reply will get the tickets (please only reply if you know you can attend). And if you want to attend even if you don’t …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Which of the five Lib Dem reshuffle options will Nick Clegg pick?

Five scenarios for your delectation:

The Lib Dem night of the long beards

The drastic, dramatic and painful option. Clegg says the Liberal Democrats need David Laws’s expertise and media savvy at the heart of economic decision making, restoring him to Chief Secretary to the Treasury and expressing tearful regret that Danny Alexander is off out of the Cabinet, with a resting place as a new Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Cabinet Office where he will not have to handle quite so many tricky TV interviews.

Education, education, education

Too problematic to bring back Laws in a tax and cut role? Bring him …

Posted in Humour and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 45 Comments

In other news… Lib Dems close no libraries, Paddick pledges 360,000 homes, & Newby is new Lords whip

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past few days…

Tim Farron: No library closed under Lib Dem leadership (LibDems.org.uk)

Last year, more than 40 libraries were closed by Conservative and Labour councils. In stark contrast, for the second year in a row, no Liberal Democrat-controlled council in England and Wales closed any library. Liberal Democrat-controlled Cardiff is opening five new libraries and Portsmouth and Bristol are also opening new libraries.

Tim Farron said: “Cutting services like Labour and Tory councils are doing will do long-term damage. Liberal Democrats are doing the right

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 1 Comment

LDVideo: So you want to watch 6mins 23secs of Lembit Öpik in a wrestling ring? You got it…

This weekend Jonathan Calder brought us the news that Lembit Öpik had contrived an appearance in a wrestling ring at Welshpool Town Hall. Distressingly, video footage has now been unleashed:

(Available on YouTube here.)

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

In other news… Vince, Telegraph inaccuracy, Lembit, Eastleigh, Boundary Commission, site news

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

Vince Cable on that leaked letter to No. 10 (and other matters (The Guardian)

“We’re no longer arguing about fiscal policy – monetary policy’s now taking on most of the heavy lifting anyway,” he says as he notes that Labour has now accepted the need for fiscal discipline. “So the argument has shifted into a debate around how active government should be in promoting the recovery. Is it getting out of the way or is government being proactive and positive? That was the purpose

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | Leave a comment

Lembit does an impression of the Angel of the North

Seriously, he does.

And he doesn’t care what anyone thinks, either, as he said to Sky News yesterday.

Thing is, as we all watch the uncomfortably inappropriate close ups, his dad dancing and numerous other cringeworthy snippets, we are compelled to listen to what is actually quite a good song by the Good Suns. A very clever marketing ploy, I think.

Enjoy, or whatever. Just don’t charge the Voice for any post traumatic stress counselling you might need.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

The message that won the Mayor selection for Brian Paddick

Neil Stockley, one of the best Liberal Deomcrat commentators when it comes to messaging and presenting a coherent narrative, has taken a look at the message which propelled Brian Paddick to victory in the London Mayor selection contest:

Liberal Democrat selection campaigns for London mayor are strange beasts, as the party seeks out a mega-campaigner who can rally the troops and pull in more assembly members by his/her coat-tails.   This time, the dynamics were mixed up even more by the entry into the race of the former Montgomeryshire MP, Lembit Opik.  (Lembit had a defeat narrative in which he compared

Posted in London | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Lembit Opik on the London Mayor selection result

Lembit Opik had a piece in today’s Evening Standard ahead of the results declaration in the London Mayor selection. In it he said he expected to lose and went on to say:

Ever since I was first enticed into entering the fray as a potential candidate, I’ve experienced a remarkable degree of antagonism and aggression from certain Lib Dems.

Most of it has occurred in the strange and self-styled environment of the ‘blogosphere’ – a parallel universe where some people who’ve never been elected to public office feel qualified to pronounce on those who have.

When one meets these people for real, their courage

Posted in London | Also tagged , and | 23 Comments

Tune in to Iain Dale’s Lib Dem night tonight on LBC, featuring Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes and others

Iain Dale returns to his evening show on London’s LBC radio tonight with a Lib Dem special. First up is a live Q & A with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, followed by interviews with a whole host of prominent Lib Dems, including three of the four London Mayoral hopefuls as well as deputy leader Simon Hughes.

Here’s the schedule in full from Iain’s blog:

6-7pm Live Q & A with LibDem leader Nick Clegg
7-7.30pm Interview with Nick Clegg (tbc)
7.30-8pm Reaction to Clegg with Lord Oakeshott, Susan Kramer & Jo Phillips
8-9pm Meet the LibDem London Mayoral Candidates – Brian Paddick, Brian

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | Leave a comment

Opinion: London Mayoral hustings, Round 2

Having been to the London Mayoral hustings last week in Wimbledon (and written about it for LDV) I thought it would be interesting to go to the official hustings last night in central London to see how (or if) the candidates had changed. I don’t know if it was the different audience or the extra week and taking on board the various comment people made but all four candidates made better speeches and all seemed more confident of why they wanted to represent us.

By far the most improved was Lembit Opik. I could see why he has had …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments

Opinion: Mayoral Hustings – Twists and turns and four good horses

I’ve never been to such an event before so I didn’t know what to expect. Regardless, I made it to the Hustings in Kings Cross, the first ‘proper’ Hustings as I think the Chair described it.

Mike Tuffrey gave the first speech. It was fairly standard: he outlined his experience on the GLA and said that if he won the nomination, it would be his 14th election. “My 13th election wasn’t unlucky for me, in fact it was my best to date.” he said, naming a few impressive percentages the Lib Dems had got in the last London Assembly elections …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Update on the latest twists and turns in the contest to become the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London

It’s been a fascinating — and characteristicaly bizarre — last 48 hours in the contest to become the Lib Dems’ London mayoral candidate.

There was the first hustings, reported here on LDV by Simon McGrath, which attracted comments from Brian Paddick, and some robust thoughts from Lembit Opik’s campaign manager Ed Joyce.

Further controversy was sparked by Peter Black’s blog-post yesterday, Lembit Öpik and the rewriting of history, highlighting a paragraph in Lembit’s manifesto which attributes his defeat in Montgomeryshire ‘to the incident in which Mick Bates drunkenly assaulted a paramedic in January 2010, which became …

Posted in London | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 5 Comments

Opinion: Verdict from the first Mayoral Hustings – it’s a two horse race

Merton Lib Dems Mayoral candidate hustings
Photo: Mayorwatch. See also @mayorwatch‘s live tweets from last night’s event.

Merton Liberal Democrats held the first hustings of the London Mayoral selection last night with all four candidates addressing an audience from Merton and surrounding constituencies.

I had never met or heard any of them before but the one speech I was expecting to enjoy was Lembit’s. I thought that I would be drawn to him despite myself but the reality was frankly disappointing. He was the …

Posted in London | Also tagged , , , and | 40 Comments

London Mayoral candidate shortlist and revised timetable published

London Region Liberal Democrats have announced the shortlist of four for the selection of the party’s Mayoral candidate for 2012:

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Liberal Democrats and Londoners deserve a three horse race

Brian Paddick, who is now reported to be running for Mayor of London, has the experience and the high profile to take on Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone.

Like it or not, the race next year is going to be personality politics at its most intense. With polls showing a lead for the Labour party in London, but Johnson and Livingstone running neck and neck, it’s in the big parties interests to make this “Ken vs Boris”.

I like and respect the other names who have put themselves forward for the Liberal Democrat nomination. Mike Tuffrey has quietly …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 27 Comments

Opinion: Why you should be taking Lembit Opik seriously

It’s hard to raise the subject of Lembit Opik without somebody cracking a joke. He’s certainly not loved by our own party’s leadership and many see him as more of a celebrity than a politician. I can, however, name two other people who are hated by their party’s leadership and seem to be two parts celebrity, one part politician, and they’ve both held the position of Mayor of London.

Lembit has great recognition among people. My own unscientific polling leads me to believe that he isn’t far behind Ken and Boris in who knows who he is, which is quite a …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 63 Comments

Mike Tuffrey the choice of members for Lib Dem London mayoral candidate: LDV survey

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 500 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

Tuffrey set to beat Opik for London mayoral nomination

LDV asked: It’s thought that there are two names who may stand for the London mayoralty as the Lib Dem candidate in 2012: Lembit Opik and Mike Tuffrey. Who do you think you are most likely to vote for?

    10% – Lembit Opik
    56% – Mike Tuffrey
    18% – I do not

Posted in LDV Members poll and Local government | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Opinion: Why Mike Tuffrey should be our candidate for Mayor of London

Over the weekend I started up a ‘draft Mike Tuffrey‘ page on Facebook to encourage Mike Tuffrey, one of our London Assembly members, to put his name forward as our candidate for the 2012 Mayor elections.

Imagining your fantasy perfect candidate is always fun (a cross between Paddy Ashdown and Shirley Williams perhaps?) but as the actual selection is nearing for its second attempt, I’m not won over by the likely choices on offer – and I think Mike has an awful lot to contribute.

Why Mike Tuffrey

As a long-standing member of the London Assembly, and the leader of our group 2006-2010, he’s got a huge knowledge of London’s issues and the track record in power of both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson. He’s also regularly gone toe-to-toe with them at events such as Mayor’s Questions at City Hall – and frequently come out on top. He’s also consistently shown a passion for environmental issues which are crucial for London and important to so many Liberal Democrats.

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Lembit4London right to reply

At the Welsh Liberal Democrat conference earlier this month Nick Clegg made the following comment.

And of course we’ve even had a Liberal Democrat celebrity flying the Welsh flag in the depths of the Australian jungle! Now that’s one forestry disaster we’re not responsible for!

This comment was then reported as the lead paragraph later in a post by Mark Pack with the following comment :

Nick Clegg’s speech to the party’s Welsh conference contained much in the way of summarising the party’s current official position on politics and government priorities – and also a reference to Lembit Opik. His departure from the Commons was made the subject of a joke rather than a cause of regret ….

Posted in Op-eds | 25 Comments

Lembit Opik: vote for my libertarian agenda

Yesterday’s BBC Politics Show included a feature on Lembit Opik’s hopes to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London. It’s still available online to watch (see here; it starts at 47:42).

Most notable was the news that no Liberal Democrat MP, GLA member or council leader in London is backing him, that he would hold a referendum on asking the public to pay considerably more in order to fund a 24-hour tube and that he twice described his political views as libertarian.

Posted in London | 18 Comments

Ten comments on Saturday at party conference

1. Being introduced at a meeting or in a debate as a “Minister” is still a plus point, often triggering a round of applause. People at conference like the fact that the party is in government.

2. The Social Liberal Forum (SLF) is growing quickly in influence in the party, partly thanks to a smartly organised set of fringe meetings, amendments and motions. However, the SLF is very keen to repeatedly stress that it is not anti-coalition.

3. The NHS debate was a decision delayed. All sides are happy with the idea that a conference debate is used to set out or …

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 14 Comments

Rolling news from conference: Saturday morning

Richard Kemp summates on motion, asking people also to back both amendments; i.e. cooperation rather confrontation to improve bill. Some MPs vote for amendment 1, some abstain. Amendment overwhelmingly carried. As is amendment 2. Lines 6-15 deleted from motion, amended motion carried. All MPs can spot voted for.

Evan Harris summates on amendment 1. “It is unusual for me to summate on a debate where there have been no speeches against my amendment”. Says government ministers must work hard to change the bill radically. Amendment 1 lays out how it should be improved – and Liberal Democrats in government “should follow …

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Nick Clegg: we’re making the rich pay their fair share of tax

Nick Clegg’s speech to the party’s Welsh conference contained much in the way of summarising the party’s current official position on politics and government priorities – and also a reference to Lembit Opik. His departure from the Commons was made the subject of a joke rather than a cause of regret – just the sort of reference that Lembit’s own actions do nothing to dissuade people from.

Central to the speech was Clegg’s description of the Liberal Democrat approach to a fair tax system:

Not all the decisions we’ve made have been easy and we must be honest about the many obstacles

Posted in News and Wales | Also tagged | 40 Comments

Lembit Opik, the TV opening credits parody


Posted in News | 7 Comments

Susan Kramer for Mayor of London – the 2000 party political broadcast

Back in 2000, Susan Kramer was the first (and in many ways most successful) Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London. Here is her party political broadcast from that campaign, featuring several familiar faces including a young Mike Tuffrey and also Susan’s husband, John, who died tragically early in 2006:

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Recent Comments

  • David Le Grice
    A few major issues here: Trying to elect such large numbers in the first election would be incredibly unwieldy under STV anyone who's attempted to vote in fe...
  • Tim Rogers
    No. Which I thought was a little odd are 2 or 3 weeks of losses and unexpected misses....
  • Graham Jeffs
    Were last week’s results reviewed?...
  • Richard Coe
    Reforming the Lords has been our policy since the 19th century. There isn't a place for anything short of a mostly elected chamber in the Lib Dems....
  • Richard Coe
    For the upper chamber to have less authority than the commons it needs to be elected on an inferior franchise to the commons. Given that FPTP is the worst elec...