Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Opik made Daily Sport columnist

Lembit Opik MP
Lembit Opik has been Montgomeryshire MP since 1997

Lembit Opik regularly makes the headlines, but now he has a chance to write his own as the Daily Sport's new political columnist.

The MP wrote for the newspaper a few years ago, but has accepted a fresh challenge to reach people who may not be all that "interested in Parliament".

Mr Opik's romances with TV presenter Sian Lloyd and Cheeky Girl Gabriela Irimia have made him a tabloid regular.

His Conservative rival Glyn Davies said he would not write for the Daily Sport.

Mr Opik, Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire, lost out to Baroness Ros Scott in a race for party president last month.

Suggestions of a Stop Lembit! campaign dogged his bid to be one of his party's most influential figures.

It's politics for real people
Lembit Opik

At the time, fears his colleagues were conspiring against him led to a statement in which he claimed to "reach beyond the normal political barricades to real people in real homes living real lives".

Responding to his appointment at the Daily Sport, Mr Opik repeated his aims to reach "real people".

The MP said: "This is part of my own stated objective to reach beyond the normal political limits to people who may not be particularly interested in Parliament, but will find it interesting if the info is presented in a non-pompous or technical way.

"That's my goal, and I hope anyone who values the benefit of a politically informed society will agree with this approach.

"It's politics for real people, and, thanks to the Sport, I'm glad to have the opportunity."

His rival in Montgomeryshire, Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate Glyn Davies said Mr Opik's decision was a "matter for him".

But Mr Davies added: "It's a demonstration of a different approach to politics and my approach is different to Lembit's.

"I would certainly not write for the Daily Sport."

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