Friday, 22 July 2011

Lembit Opik Apologises for Mick Bates Slur

Earlier this morning, Peter Black AM led a justified attack on Lembit Opik for accusing his former Welsh Assembly Montgomeryshire colleague Mick Bates of being the reason why he lost his Montgomeryshire seat back in May last year. Peter's angry riposte can be read here.

Mick Mates and Lembit Opik in happier times
During the course of the day, Lembit has responded by refuting the rebuttal information that was put out on his behalf as a part of his London Mayoral campaign by claiming that it was published without his authority, presumably by a member of his campaign team. His reply for the Western Mail can be read here.

In a comment to Peter's initial post, a former member of Lembit's Montgomeryshire constituency staff puts up a legitimate defence for his former employer and goes on to state why he will lose the nomination for the Mayoralty.

In Paul's own words...

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"Lembit will lose the nomination to be the party's candidate in London like he did the 2008 Presidency, not because there is a better more well suited candidate (that's a debate for another time), but because he's chosen to surround himself by a small group of friends (namely Eric Joyce) who tell him what he wants to hear and do as he says, none of whom are experienced in campaigning, messaging, strategy & direction or communications all of something you need if you want to win. None of these people have the guts to stand up turn the problem around and say, "look we've got a problem here, if we want to win, we need to do this, this and that."

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Paul knows his stuff so I'll take his word for it. The named individual I think is actually Ed Joyce and he has been denounced on Lib Dem message boards over the past 36 hours for the way in which he responds to every slight on Lembit's character.

Is it he who has apparently written this rebuttal piece without Lembit's say-so or somebody else? Whoever it may be, Lembit needs to sort it and his media strategy out before his campaign is blown to pieces before it's even out of the blocks.


  1. dominic hannigan22 July 2011 at 21:53

    Ed joyce has been repeating the blame mick line for some time:

    “Lembit’s issues in Montgomery were linked to a problem between the Welsh Assembly Member and a paramedic.I don’t blame Mick Bates entirely, there are demographic issues, but it was very unhelpful that he got into an ‘unfortunate drunken fracas with a paramedic in Cardiff’. Now I understand he is to be ‘expelled from the party’.”

  2. Thanks for this Dom, I hadn't read it.

    I then read the thread of comments in which he continually makes the same point as a response to persistant questioning.

    Has he ever been to Wales?

    Apparently also he was asked to comment on whether Lembit allowed Mick to sign his nomination papers but despite promising a response, I've not seen one.