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Former Welsh Lib Dem leader advising Conservatives about how to beat his own party

20 Mar 2021 2 minutes Read
Lembit Opik

A former Welsh Liberal Democrat leader who lost his own seat in a huge upset is now advising the Conservatives on how to defeat his own party.

Lembit Öpik’s seat of Montgomeryshire was one of the safest in the country before he was defeated by Conservative former Assembly Member Glyn Davies at the 2010 General Election.

The former MP, whose colourful personal life included relationships with weather presenter Siân Lloyd and Gabriela Irimia of pop music double-act The Cheeky Girls, led the party in Wales between 2001 and 2007 and was once touted as a Lib Dem leadership contender.

Yesterday however 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 & Ewell.

In the promo piece for the event, Lembit Öpik is quoted as being critical of the Liberal Democrats’ path since he lost his seat.

“The party has become a parody of itself,” he says, “and these days the idea of them occupying any position of strategic power should be a source of alarm for those who believe in personal freedom and lament the Lib Dems’ – it must be said ironic – disregard for personal liberty.”

“I gravitate towards common sense and liberty,’ says Lembit Öpik. “Sadly, If the modern day Lib Dem party has its way, there’ll be a deficit of both in Councils, constituencies and the Commons.

“I’m keen to share my thoughts on a cure for this malaise, as there’s currently no vaccine against stupidity.”

The Conservatives may not need much help from Lembit Öpik in Wales – his former Montgomeryshire seat is now held by Conservative Craig Williams at Westminster and Russell George at the Senedd.

Their last remaining constituency seat in Wales, held by retiring Education Minister Kirsty Williams at the Senedd in Brecon and Radnorshire is also considered to be under threat at the forthcoming election.

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