Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik loses Montgomeryshire
Published: 7th May 2010 03:47:00
Lembit Opik, one of the most colourful characters in UK politics, has lost his seat in the Commons.
The Liberal Democrat was beaten by the Conservatives in the mid Wales constituency of Montgomeryshire.
Mr Opik, a chat show regular who became well known for dating one of the Cheeky Girls singers, was defeated by former Welsh Assembly Member Glyn Davies.
In an emotional speech after the announcement, he said it was "personally very disappointing".
Speaking to BBC Wales after his defeat, said he left the seat with a spiritual faith which he had recently developed.
"I leave this job with a faith - a very strong spiritual faith which I have developed quite recently and thanks to many people in the constituency - but also a faith in people and human nature, and finally a faith in the liberalism which got me into politics in the first place, which I have sought to represent as best I can in this constituency and which continues unabated as the strong, deep liberal strain which characterises Montgomeryshire."
"I cannot really analyse it just after the announcement, but I have been surprised," he added
Mr Opik, who had been an MP since 1997, said: "Credit to my opponent - he won fair and square. If you stand in elections you have to be willing to accept defeat as well as victory and this was my time.
"Perhaps it was my brand of politics which people weren't to keen on. Perhaps it was a big surge to the Conservatives."
Asked whether he thought his high profile in the media had been a factor in the result, he said: "If the whole thing was a referendum on me, well, we will work that out."
He said he was "really sad" to be leaving parliament.
Mr Opik, aged 45, dated the Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia, and before her the ITV weather presenter Sian Lloyd. He was also a regular guest on shows such as Have I Got News For You.
Asked if he could envisage a further role in politics in the future, he said it was "above my pay grade" to be giving Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg suggestions but added that he was open to offers.
He added: "In the words of Arnie Schwarzenegger, 'I'll be back'."
Mr Opik also thanked people in his constituency who he said had a faith in human nature and also a faith in the principles of liberalism.
The ex-MP thanked his former constituents for their patience "at those times when I have been difficult to deal with".
At 06:02:37 in HeadlinesIt was a political defection that seemed to catch everyone by surprise.
At 06:00:32 in EnglandA former Rotherham children's services director is facing calls to resign from her current job in Australia.
At 05:57:33 in HeadlinesMore than three million Syrians are now registered as refugees and the desperate crisis is only getting worse, the UN's refugee agency says.
At 05:49:07 in HeadlinesThe Icelandic Met Office has raised its aviation warning level near the Bardarbunga volcano to red after an eruption began overnight.
At 05:46:30 in SportCiCi Bellis could not quite prolong the fairytale, but she extended her stay long enough to dominate for a second day at the US Open.
At 05:20:34 in HeadlinesAn Indian activist who was thought to have died in a car fire near the capital, Delhi, has been found alive in the southern city of Bangalore.
At 05:11:54 in BusinessJapan's economy has shown signs of stagnation and some weakness as households spent less and factory output stayed flat in July.
At 04:52:27 in HeadlinesPakistan's powerful army chief has stepped in to the political deadlock between the PM and two opposition figures leading huge anti-government rallies in the capital, Islamabad.
At 04:51:15 in PoliticsDisaffected MPs from both Labour and the Conservatives could join UKIP if it wins in a by-election caused by the defection of Tory Eurosceptic Douglas Carswell, leader Nigel Farage has said.
At 03:37:08 in EnglandFrom art deco and Bakelite, through to groovy wallpaper and shag pile, ending up in the age of flat-screen televisions and wi-fi. Not many of us end up observing the decades' changing fashions so acutely inside our homes.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Liberal Democrat Lembit Opik loses Montgomeryshire [Online] (Updated 7th May 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/57660/Liberal-Democrat-Lembit-Opik-loses-Montgomeryshire [Accessed 29th Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
Disaffected MPs from both Labour and the Conservatives could join UKIP if it wins in a by-election caused by the defection of Tory Eurosceptic Douglas Carswell, leader Nigel Farage has said.
CiCi Bellis could not quite prolong the fairytale, but she extended her stay long enough to dominate for a second day at the US Open.
Great British Bake Off contestant Diana Beard has left the show, but the BBC said her exit was due to illness, not a controversy over the latest episode.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
1985 will always be associated with the historic signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement marking a new relationship between London and Dublin, and the ensuing wave of loyalist protests.
A former Rotherham children's services director is facing calls to resign from her current job in Australia.