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THE INSIDER: A weekly update from the corridors of power
10:10am Thursday 19th April 2012 in Columns
If you thought the Liberal Democrats in Westminster were taking a beating after jumping into bed with the Tories, spare a thought for one of their former leading lights.
Ex-MP Lembit Opik, right, no stranger to courting publicity, grabbed a headline or two when he grappled with 18-stone Welsh bad boy Kade Callous at a wrestling bout in his former constituency in Mid Wales last week.
Now the question fewer than a dozen people will be asking is will he or won’t he show up in Didcot tomorrow night?
Promoters Welsh Wrestling are bringing a similar event to Didcot Town FC and they say Lembit has “promised” that he will turn up on the night.
However, they can’t confirm if Mr Opik will get back in the ring for a rematch.
Perhaps wrestling is a safer career choice at the moment than being a Lib Dem in the coalition, but we’re sure cheeky Lembit must still wish he was on the panel show circuit.
Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron popped into the Punter pub, on Osney Island in Oxford, on Saturday night but a publicity stunt it certainly wasn’t.
The presence of the Premier went unnoticed for nearly an hour and a half. He was there celebrating his wife Samantha’s birthday. The Insider hears he tucked into a burger washed down by a pint of bitter... maybe he is a man of the people after all.
Most visitors to Oxfordshire would perhaps choose to spend a day frolicking on a punt on the River Thames or gawping at one of our impressive museums.
But bizarrely, 35 French tourists picked a guided tour of Cassington’s anaerobic digester.
The industrial site turns putrid food waste into energy, all very commendable, and its owners are rightly proud of the technology.
But a tourist destination?
The chief executive of recycling firm Agrivert was quite right when he joked: “I doubt our site will replace Oxford’s spires as a local tourist destination.”
The intrepid travellers, from Mably, were on a twinning visit to Wantage and Grove.
The Insider wonders whether they will offer a return trip to Disneyland Paris or a wading tour through the Paris sewer network.
Follically-challenged county council leadership candidate Ian Hudspeth received a less than welcomed gift on his birthday last week.
Mr Hudspeth received a tub of hair gel for his 52nd birthday last Wednesday.
He tweeted: “Wondering what I should do with the hair gel I was given yesterday.”
Ian, it’s the thought that counts... although its votes that will count next Thursday when his Conservative colleagues meet behind closed doors to elect their new leader.
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