‘Primary colour’ Lembit launches campaign

Would-be Liberal Democrat president Lembit Opik has kicked off his campaign with a video in which he pledges “a party in primary colours”.

The former housing spokesperson, who stepped down from his old job earlier this week in a bid to concentrate on his campaign, is seen emerging from his “ordinary home” to talk to the camera about his vision for the Lib Dems.

“If you vote for me you don’t get a party in pastel shades – you get a party in primary colours,” the hard-hitting Mr Opik says.

“I think that’s what we have to do if we’re going to get into government.”

The accordion-playing Mr Opik has enjoyed a high profile in the tabloid newspapers with a string of failed relationships. His past loves have included a Cheeky Girl and weatherwoman Sian Lloyd.

Now Mr Opik is determined to succeed Simon Hughes as the party’s president and argues his media-friendly antics work in his favour.

“As for inspiration, well you judge for yourself,” he says in the video, as music by the Cameleonz plays behind him.

“You’ve seen me on TV, sometimes you’ll like it, maybe sometimes you don’t. But what really matters is everybody knows who I am. Everyone has an opinion – everyone knows I’m a Liberal Democrat.”

He faces competition from Baroness Scott of Needham Market and Liberal Vision campaign group director Chandila Fernando.

Baroness Scott has attracted the support of fellow peers Paddy Ashdown and Shirley Williams.

Lord Ashdown says of Baroness Scott in a video recorded at the party’s autumn conference in Bournemouth: “She remains connected to her roots – tied in back to the people that matter, the people on the ground”.

Nominations for the campaign closed yesterday and voting ends on November 7th.