No “final decision” from Norman Lamb on whether to bid for Lib Dem leadership
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said he had not made a 'final decision' on whether to run for leadership of the Liberal Democrats after the party suffered great losses.
The MP lost almost two-thirds of his majority in the coastal seat, with the Conservative party carving away at his share of the votes.
But although, with the end of the coalition government, Mr Lamb is no longer care minister, he could make a bid for the top position in his party following Nick Clegg's resignation as leader.
Speaking after the district council election count yesterday, Mr Lamb said he was 'delighted' to remain MP of his constituency, and put his success down to 'dogged hard work'. He added: 'I now have to make a decision about the party and whether I stand for leadership. I haven't made a final decision yet. I am thinking about it and talking to people both nationally and locally.'
The father-of-two said the position would have an impact on his life and family, and added he would have to weigh all these things up.
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However, he said even if he put his name forward, the final say would be down to the party. 'It will be an election of all the members, but there have been quite a lot of people on Twitter and text messages asking me do to it. I am noting all of those and I'm grateful for them.'
Bookmakers' odds yesterday saw Mr Lamb at 4/1, but favourite for the leadership was Westmorland and Lonsdale Lib Dem Tim Farron, at 1/4.
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Regardless, Mr Lamb said in opposition the party would have a chance to think about where it was at fault. 'I think we can be proud of what we have done in government, but we have to be prepared to focus on where we made mistakes. We have to work out a plan.'
While Mr Lamb has lost his job as a minister, he said this could mean more time in his constituency, but added: 'Of course it depends on what I then end up doing nationally.' Mr Lamb polled 19,299 votes – a majority of 4,043 over Conservative Ann Steward. In 2010, Mr Lamb had a majority of 11,626.