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New Statesman endorses Farron for leader

June 10, 2015 3:11 PM

Tim speaking in ParliamentLib Dem Leadership candidate Tim Farron MP has secured the endorsement of the influential New Statesman magazine for his leadership bid.

In their leader article in the next edition, out tomorrow, they say:

"More than any other British political party, the Liberal Democrats face an existential crisis. They have been reduced from 57 MPs in 2010 to just eight - the same number as the Democratic Unionists - and have become a byword for hypocrisy and opportunism following their role in the coalition government. The Scottish National Party, the UK Independence Party and the Greens have all, in different ways, captured the political territory they once occupied. An increasing number of commentators call for them simply to dissolve themselves, or to merge with Labour or the Conservatives.

"Next month Liberal Democrat members will elect a leader to inherit what remains of their party. The two candidates, representing a quarter of their number in the Commons, are Tim Farron, the former party president, and Norman Lamb, the former health minister. It is Mr Farron (interviewed in this week's magazine) who offers the Lib Dems their best hope of recovery. Unlike Mr Lamb, he is untainted by service in the Tory-led government and voted against policies such as higher tuition fees and the bedroom tax. He won his constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale from the Conservatives in 2005, ending nearly a century of rule by a single party, and transformed it into one of the safest Lib Dem seats in Britain through Stakhanovite campaigning. He is devoted to the causes the Lib Dems must embody if they are to survive, let alone flourish: constitutional reform, civil liberties, environmentalism and social justice. Like his late mentor Charles Kennedy, he is a sincere and humane communicator. The revival of the Lib Dems will be the work of many years; Mr Farron is the best man to begin the long journey back across the wasteland."

Tim has also secured high profile backing from MPs Greg Mulholland, John Pugh and Mark Williams as well as well-known former MPs including Simon Hughes, Jo Swinson, Duncan Hames, Martin Horwood, David Howarth, John Leech, Matthew Taylor, Sarah Teather, Alan Beith and Brian Cotter.

Tim said: "I want to thank Jason Cowley and the New Statesman for their endorsement.

"This election is about how we rebuild our party, recover from the biggest setback we have had since the 1950's and still stand up for the liberal values in parliament and out in the country.

"We must turn the millions of liberal minded people into Liberal Democrats and I am committed to doing that if elected leader."