For Lembit (left with his latest former pulchritudinous arm decoration) has spoken out in her defence.
I'm glad she's thinking about this. I know she's felt really shocked by the way she was treated in the media.... She will have gone through this and decided, is there really something here so serious that I houldn't stand again... I really hope that the Liberal Democrats in Bromsgrove will respect her wishes and not seek to make political gain out of this.
What planet is he on that he believes that any opposition party wouldn't make capital out of it? In particular, he expects restraint from his own colleagues - from a political party that is entirely shameless in attacking opponents for local gain. Lembit has also hardly been backwards in courting the media over his personal life and enthusiastically follows the 'no publicity is bad publicity' line. Expecting his colleagues to show any quarter to Julie Kirkbride is entirely unrealistic on his part. Lembit has cause to be careful about expenses...
(Top marks to Jonathan Walker of the Post for boosting the page hits for the on-line edition by working Britney Spears into the text - give that man a bonus)