Inevitably, the activities of my predecessor as Montgomeryshire MP, are reported to me by friends. Today was another big day for him in that the result of the contest to be the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London was being announced. I could see it didn't look good when Lembit was quoted this morning as saying "I have been in politics long enough to be able to read writing when its on the wall". And tonight the anticipated bad news was confirmed. The Lib Dems have chosen Brian Paddick to take on Boris and Ken Livingstone - with that household name, Mike Tuffrey in second place.
Must admit I would quite like Lembit to have won the nomination. I always got along quite well with him, and he would certainly have put Montgomeryshire on the map. Even tonight's BBC announcement of the result is all about Lembit, with Brian Paddick's victory a mere afterthought. It was a bit like that when I won Montgomeryshire at the last General Election. It was a very big deal for me, and a stunning win for my local Conservative activists, but the media coverage was mostly about Lembit losing! I fully expect Boris to win next May, but I would have preferred Lembit to Livingstone!
But even by Lembit's standards, his comments in response to defeat were a bit breath-taking. He compared his predicament as akin to that of Nelson Mandela (seriously I think) - in that both of them have been forced to spend time in 'the wilderness'. Must admit that comment did made me laugh. I hear his next aim is to become the Lib Dem candidate to be Police Commissioner for Dyfed Powys. I wonder how that will go.