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Lembit loses parliament pass

By Jonny Drury | Mid Wales | News | Published:

One of the region's former MPs has been stripped of his parliamentary pass for repeatedly breaking the rules in a commons bar.

Lembit Opik

Former Lib Dem MP for Montgomeryshire, Lembit Opik, who lost his seat in 2010, after once being tipped as a future party leader.

The 'category X' passes are given to MPs who have served at least one full term in parliament, and is a scheme to make the process of returning to civilian life a smooth one.

It allows holders to use subsidised restaurants and drink in the exclusive Strangers’ Bar, however some people have asked why 'zombie' politicians should be allowed passes.

The pass does not allow former MPs to bring guests, and the 53-year-old had his pass suspended in March after he was found to break rules.

It was again suspended in May for a further breach.

Mr Opik, who served as MP for Montgomeryshire for 13 years, said: "They said that I had done something that was not allowed.

"I didn't intentionally break the rules. I have a lot of respect for the parliamentary estate. I think it is respectful to uphold this judgement.

"If they think I have done something wrong then I will accept that.

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"They said something like I had not followed the right protocol in having someone on the terrace.

"You can argue about the nuances of it but the big point is that everybody has a responsibility to respect the regulations."

A spokesperson for the commons said the administration committee suspended the pass, and extended it for a further breach in May.

Opik, now a radio presenter, has been in the headlines before and after he lost his parliamentary seat.

He famously dated one of the pop due the Cheeky Girls, tried his hand at wrestling, and has took part in reality TV shows.

The are a host of former MPs are among the 433 people with category X passes, including former Chancellor George Osborne, Nick Clegg and former Prime Minister David Cameron,

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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