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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 09:52 GMT 10:52 UK
Lembit Opik
Lembit Opik

Date of birth

2 March 1965

Political profile

A former Procter and Gamble executive, Lembit Opik was first elected to the Commons in 1997.

He is firmly on the libertarian wing of the Lib Dems and is a leading light in the cross-party Middle Way Group, which campaigns against a complete ban on hunting with dogs.

The son of Estonian refugees, he was born and grew up in Northern Ireland and served throughout the 1997 Parliament as the Lib Dem spokesman on Northern Ireland affairs.

After the 2001 election, he became the party's principal spokesman on Wales.

He has inherited Charles Kennedy's discarded mantle as Liberal Democrat most likely to appear on chat and comedy shows, where he pursues some of his more idiosyncratic interests, such as his concern over potential asteroid strikes on Earth.

In 1998 he was seriously injured in a paragliding accident when he fell 80 feet onto a mountain side, requiring him to spend several months in a full body cast. Contact

Commons office: 020 7219 1144
Constituency office: 01594 826835

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