Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Lembit Opik to appeal against expulsion from the Lib Dems?

From Nation Cymru:

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.

But that may not be the end of the story. Over to Powys and the County Times:

Mr Opik says he has appealed against the decision to expel him, and believes the party has violated it's own complaints procedure by confirming his expulsion publicly before the result of an appeal has been heard.

"I am astounded to learn this news from the County Times," he said.

"My understanding is that an individual is complaining about me in the party but, as the party itself has confirmed, I have the right to appeal against these complaints through a formal process.

"The party itself has insisted that when dealing with a complaint there's an internal conflict resolution procedure between the complainant, respondent and panel and all communications must be direct between the parties and cannot be conducted with third parties.

"The party is disrespecting the very processes it has insisted on enforcing upon me on June 7."

He added that he still felt optimistic that a resolution could be reached, and said he would respect the outcome of an internal complaints procedure.

If the facts are as reported by Nation Cymru then it's hard to see why Lembit Opik is astounded or why he would wish to remain a member of the Liberal Democrats.

Such have been his antics over recent years - faithfully recorded on this blog - that it's easy to forget there was a time when, helped by his Estonian heritage, Opik seemed an interesting politician.

But his style came to be a poor match for the sensitivities of the traditional Liberal voters of the Welsh Border.


Frank Little said...

> He was introduced by former Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling
Very appropriate.

Lembit is right to object to party publicists jumping the gun on the formal decision to expel him - there is too much of this sort of thing - but there can be little doubt that he has unambiguously breached the rule against supporting a rival party.

Andrew Kitching said...

The opposition parties seem to go out of their way to make life easy for the Conservatives. I despair.