Former Welsh Lib Dem leader ‘expelled’ for advising Tories on how to beat the party
A former leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats has been expelled from the party for advising the Tories on how to beat them, it has been reported.
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.
His appearance at the event has led to him being booted out, according to a source in Lib Dem HQ that spoke to The Sunday Times.
In response to the news, the paper’s Atticus column said: “Not that anybody needs too much help nowadays.”
The Liberal Democrats failed to win the seat in Montgomeryshire, which remained in the hands of the Tories. The party also failed to hang on to its only constituency seat in Brecon and Radnorshire, where it also lost out to the Conservatives.
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds picked up the party’s only seat at the election, which was on the mid and west Wales regional list.
Öpik, who led the party in Wales between 2001 and 2007 and was once touted as a Lib Dem leadership contender, held one of the safest seats in the country, before he was defeated by Conservative former Assembly Member Glyn Davies at the 2010 General Election.
He had relationships with weather presenter Siân Lloyd as well as Gabriela Irimia of pop music double-act The Cheeky Girls.
In the promo piece for the event, he is quoted as saying: “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.”
Alison Alexander, the party’s Senedd candidate in Montgomeryshire for the election, responded at the time by saying that she did not “recognise the party he criticises” and claimed people who have “fond memories of the good Liberal” would find his comments very sad.
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No surprises there. A sour guy who misses being part of the “leadership group” but could never accept any of the disciplines, including self discipline, required. Lib Dems are circling the plug hole and he played a part in putting them in that predicament. Will fall out with his own shadow in due course.
Detritus of an implosion.
97 under the Welshpool Town Hall balcony, a last Hoorah!…The street, full of relieved townsfolk…the radio Blairing ‘Things can only get better’…pity, not for Lembit!
The Liberal party was once a force in Welsh politics with figures such as David Lloyd George that became UK prime minister. But today, the Welsh Liberal democrats barely function as a liberal entity. part of that is how Wales is treated by the UK regime in London and the other part is that the current inability of the English liberal democrats to make grow in England and become an electoral force there. Liberalism is not dead in Wales. In fact it is growing in the movement for an independent Wales, in YesCymru, and within Plaid Cymru, which has become… Read more »
“Fortunately, we have Plaid Cymru.”
Plaid have made a net gain of one seat at each of the last Senedd elections.
2011 = 11 seats
2016 = 12 seats
2021 = 13 seats
Slowly, slowly catchy monkey
2020 10 seats
Gain = 3 seats
……….catchee straight away!
Yes well done on regaining Dwyfor and a South Wales Central regional seat from defectors. LOL
It will only take 18 elections. So, we should be ready for Plaid to have a majority of AS in just 90 years!
I do miss Megan Lloyd George.
He was the definition of fa6.