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Tim Farron joins race for Lib Dem leadership

Tim Farron has declared he has entered the Liberal Democrat leadership race.

Tim Farron confirms leadership bid. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The former party president told BBC Radio 4's Today programme:

I have spent the last six days listening to hundreds and hundreds of members who have been urging me to do it.

My message to them is if they are up for the fightback I will step forward and put myself forward to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

– Tim Farron

Mr Farron joins former health minister Norman Lamb as the contenders to replace Nick Clegg following the party's disastrous general election results.

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Lamb: Lib Dems' tuition fees 'debacle' cost party

The "debacle" of the Liberal Democrats' U-turn on university tuition fees "massively undermined" voters' trust in the party, one of its leadership candidates has said.

Norman Lamb, a former health minister, wants to replace Nick Clegg as Lib Dem leader. Credit: PA Wire

Norman Lamb said the Liberal Democrats had learned an "extremely painful lesson" from raising tuition fees to £9,000 while in coalition government with the Conservatives, despite ex-leader Nick Clegg's pledge to vote against any increase.

"Trust for me is critically important and that debacle massively undermined people's trust in the party," he told BBC Radio 4.

"I believe very strongly that we have now learned a massive lesson, an extremely painful one. But I don't think we will ever make that mistake again."

Lamb - who confirmed to ITV Anglia yesterday that he wanted to replace Nick Clegg - voted in favour of tuition fee increases in 2010, while his potential rival for the leadership, Tim Farron, rebelled and voted against the policy.

Norman Lamb confirms bid for Lib Dem leadership

Norman Lamb said he has "never shrunk away from a challenge" as he announced he will run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.

Norman Lamb has confirmed he is to run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats Credit: PA

The Norfolk North M, who held his seat with a reduced majority of 4,043, said he would put "body and soul" into the job.

Speaking to ITV News Anglia, Mr Lamb said: "I think we've got a lot of learning to do and we've got to understand where we went wrong.

"..I suspect in the next five years, with the Conservatives on their own, people might start to see what a good restraining influence we were and also some of the very progressive policies that we actually achieved in government."

He is the first to declare his bid in a race expected to be dominated by him and former party president Tim Farron, who has expressed anger that the election was fought "on the politics of fear".

Farron wins support for potential Lib Dem leadership bid

Tim Farron has won the support of his Scottish and Welsh counterparts, as a possible contender for the Liberal Democrat leadership role.

Tim Farron is being urged to put himself forward for the Liberal Democrat leadership role Credit: REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

Farron has not yet said if he intends to run for the post but he is already being touted by colleagues Willie Rennie and Kirsty Williams as "an inspirational leader".

Rennie and Williams released a joint statement today that said: "Tim is a committed liberal, a brilliant communicator, an outstanding campaigner and an inspirational leader.

"With him as leader we can show that we are a compassionate, tolerant, internationalist, reformist party that looks beyond sectional interest to the greater good, to our children's future not just ours, that believes in partnership home and abroad, not division, that is liberal and democratic."

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Farron: Lib Dems needed to 'turn anger into action'

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron has said his party needed to "turn anger into action" in order to secure a better election result but must now must turn their attention to offering people "something far better" to ensure they are not losers again.

Tim Farron says his party need to be Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme he said: "Fear is a hugely motivating factor in elections, I'm sad to report, and what we've got to do is offer something far better than fear - unity, hope, values that draw us together.

"So it's not a case of being a bad loser, it's somebody who is determined not to be a loser again."

Liberal Democrats launch leadership contest

Nominations for the Liberal Democrats leadership contest will open on Wednesday, in the hope of having a new leader in place before Parliament breaks up for summer, the party has revealed.

Greg Mulholland, the Lib Dem MP for Leeds North West, has protested the timetable, saying the party needs "strong leadership now".

Nick Clegg announced his resignation on Friday. Credit: PA

Just eight Liberal Democrat MPs survived the general election, including outgoing leader Nick Clegg who announced his resignation on Friday.

However, the party's president Baroness Sal Brinton said they were prepared to "fight back", adding that more than 5,000 people had signed up since the results were announced, pushing membership above 50,000.

To get on the shortlist, contenders must secure the endorsement of 10 per cent of MPs - meaning currently just one person - along with 200 members from at least 20 local branches.

Tim Farron: Election 'is not the last word' on Lib Dems

Tim Farron, one of the Liberal Democrats' last remaining MPs, has insisted that his party is not dead despite their dreadful showing in Thursday's General Election.

He told ITV News that if his party did not exist, "you would have to invent it".

He said: "We are absolutely going to fight back and rebuild from the grass roots, because the space is there that needs to be filled."

Lib Dems MP wants 'tuition fees rebel' as new leader

Former Liberal Democrats party president Tim Farron could take over from Nick Clegg. Credit: Danny Lawson / PA Archive/PA Images

One of only eight surviving Liberal Democrats MPs, Greg Mulholland, has said the party's new leader must be someone who defied former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg over student fees.

Mr Mulholland, who hung onto his seat in Leeds North West, has ruled himself out of the running but appeared to endorse Tim Farron with a call for a 'tuition fee rebel' to take over the position.

He said the controversy over the issue, along with backing NHS reforms and the so-called "bedroom tax" was one of "three fatal errors" made by Mr Clegg after he took the "right decision" to join forces with the Tories.

The 2010 failure to ensure no Liberal Democrat MP voted against a rise in fees was catastrophic. Now we need a leader who voted against.

Clearly those of us who have been re-elected will have to talk about how best we can work together and how we should operate going forwards over the next few years."

– Liberal Democrats MP Greg Mulholland
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