Norman Lamb wins backing of youth leaders in battle to replace Nick Clegg as Lib Dem leader

Former care minister is battling it out against left-leaning Tim Farron in race to become Lib Dem leader after Nick Clegg stood down following the election

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Norman Lamb’s campaign to become the Liberal Democrat leader won the backing today of 28 leading young party activists.

Their joint endorsement comes after the former health minister received the support of more than 20 ex-MPs, including the former Lib Dem leaders Lord Ashdown and Sir Menzies Campbell.

The former party president, Tim Farron, appears to be the front-runner in the race to succeed Nick Clegg, but Mr Lamb has launched a strong challenge for the post. Voting closes on July 15, with the victor announced the next day.

In a letter to the Independent, the activists say he is “inspiring the next generation of campaigners” and praise his liberal instincts on issues such as mental health, drug reform and equalities.

The letter in full:

Dear Sirs,

It is wonderful to see so many respected former Parliamentarians supporting Norman Lamb for Liberal Democrat leader. Just as Norman has inspired his current and former colleagues in Westminster, he is also inspiring the next generation of campaigners.

Norman Lamb’s plans for the future of our party, laid out in his recently published online book, place young people at the heart of the Liberal Democrat fight back.

He recognises that young people are liberals, and has the policy instincts - on mental health, drug policy reform and equalities - to ensure that they become Liberal Democrats too.

But Norman doesn’t just talk about young people - he listens to us too. Our young members are not only hardworking campaigners - they also have unique skills and perspectives just as the rest of the party does. We believe that Norman will ensure that young members are placed at the heart of the party, and that he will help us grow our movement among both students and non-students.

As young Liberal Democrat members across England, Scotland and Wales, we urge fellow young liberals to back Norman. He is the candidate best placed to help us rebuild as a liberal, progressive movement for change.

Alex Harding-Last – Liberal Youth Chair

Euan Davidson and Hannah Bettsworth – Liberal Youth Scotland Co-Presidents

Conor McKenzie – Liberal Youth England Chair

Charlie Kingsbury and Michael Chappell – Liberal Youth Vice Chairs

Rachel Edwards – Liberal Youth England Vice Chair

Eilidh McFarlane – Liberal Youth Communications Officer

Gareth-Stuart Ogg – Vice President (Communications) Liberal Youth Scotland

Jade Smith and Matthew Palmer – IR Cymru Joint Campaigns Officer

Alex White – Liberal Youth Events Co-Events Officer

Jonathan Ainslie - Edinburgh Liberal Youth Chair

Scott Bremner – Liberal Youth Scotland Executive Member

Courtney Mower – Chair, Liberal Youth East Midlands

Darren Grimes

Stuart Wheatcroft

Vita Zaporozcenko

Alex Popper

Andrew Martin – Former Campaigns Chair, Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats

Robin Rea – Former Campaigns Officer, Liberal Youth

Matt Downey - Former chair of Liberal Youth England

Sara Lloyd Williams – Former Chair, Liberal Youth Wales

Kevin McNamara – Former Regional Chair, Liberal Youth

Julia Wright

Adam Hanrahan – Chair, Sheffield Liberal Youth

Harry Matthews – Former Chair of Liberal Youth

Rebekah Fairhurst