Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Monday, 3 March 2008

Opik 'sorry' for missing meeting

Lembit Opik MP
Lembit Opik has been Montgomeryshire MP since 1997

MP Lembit Opik has apologised after pulling out of chairing a public meeting on a new wind farm because it clashed with a BBC Radio 4 appearance.

The Montgomeryshire MP said he double-booked the meeting in Trefeglwys, near Llanidloes, with an appearance on Any Questions.

The Liberal Democrat said he would use his BBC fee to fund a village referendum about the wind farm.

The 11-turbine development attracted about 100 people to the meeting.

Friday's meeting was organised by Trefeglwys Community Council in order for both Save Trannon Moor Action Group (Stag) and wind farm developers, Acciona to give their views.

But Stag said Mr Opik pulled out a few days beforehand.

'Bigger nightmare'

The MP said he had made a genuine mistake, and it would have been difficult to do both events.

After talks with the BBC to see if he could cancel, he explained that would have caused an "even bigger nightmare".

"I made a mistake and double-booked," said Mr Opik.

"My office works so hard that mistakes are bound to be made, but it was a genuine mistake and I'm taking steps to put it right.

"I intend to use my fee from the BBC and some of my own money to fund a referendum in Trefeglwys into the wind farm."

Developer Acciona is expected to submit its plans for the wind farm with Powys Council in the next few months.

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