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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 19:11 GMT 20:11 UK
'Hello, that's me,' says Lembit
By Brian Wheeler
Political reporter, BBC News, Lib Dem conference

Sir Menzies Campbell
Sir Menzies catches up with his industry spokesman's holiday snaps
Lembit Opik is no stranger to celebrity photo shoots - but he seemed as surprised as anyone to see Hello! magazine's latest double page spread.

The Lib Dem MP is pictured embracing girlfriend Gabriela Irimia, of pop duo The Cheeky Girls.

The holiday snap was taken while the couple were in Romania, said Mr Opik, adding: "That's showbusiness".

Party leader Sir Menzies Campbell said: "Lembit's life outside politics is a matter for him."

According to Hello!, Gabriela and identical twin sister Monica travelled to Romania to undergo breast enlargement surgery and an operation to remove eye bags, in preparation for a relaunch of their musical career. Gabriela also had treatment for kidney stones.

"Our breasts are bigger than before - we've gone from a 34A to a 34C. We are proud of our breasts like a man would be with a new Ferrari," Gabriela told the magazine.


She said she was still "getting to know" Mr Opik and reports they are planning to marry are wide of the mark.

What is appalling about two young people who are obviously very affectionate towards each other?
Sir Menzies Campbell

"We're just trying to have fun more than anything else," she added.

Mr Opik flew to Romania to visit Gabriela as she recovered from her kidney treatment.

He said he took the snaps himself while the couple visited botanical gardens in Gabriela's home city Cluj-Napoca.

"I don't regard myself as very photogenic, so it's safe to say Gabi's presence in the picture massively raises the attractiveness of the shot," he told the BBC News website.

The Lib Dem frontbencher is in Brighton for the Liberal Democrat's annual conference - but he refused to be drawn on whether Gabriela would be joining him at the seaside.

"It is up to her, really. She doesn't do politics."

'Not appalled'

Sir Menzies Campbell was earlier seen perusing the pictures of his industry spokesman and his Cheeky Girl girlfriend.

He told BBC News: "Lembit's life outside politics is a matter for him.

"If I thought that his life outside politics was affecting his ability to fulfil his responsibilities as a member of the shadow cabinet for the Liberal Democrats, I would take action but I don't believe that and therefore I don't propose to take action.

"I am not appalled by photographs of this kind. What is appalling about two young people who are obviously very affectionate towards each other?

"As long as he does the job then he can stay in the job."


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