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Norfolk MP Norman Lamb defeated by Tim Farron in his bid to lead the Liberal Democrats

PUBLISHED: 16:43 16 July 2015 | UPDATED: 17:32 16 July 2015

Tim Farron (left) and Norman Lamb. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire

Tim Farron (left) and Norman Lamb. Photo credit should read: PA/PA Wire

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb has been defeated in the race for the Liberal Democrat leadership, with Tim Farron taking the top job.

Who is Tim Farron?

Tim Farron is the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale. He attempted to get into parliament three times before securing his seat in 2005.

In coalition he voted against some of the coalition’s most unpopular policies, including the bedroom tax and tuition fees.

He became party president in September 2010, in a contest where he won with 53pc of the vote.

He was born in Preston, Lancashire, in 1970. He studied politics at Newcastle University, where he was on the National Union of Students’ executive.

Mr Farron is a committed Christian. He is married with two daughters and two sons.

The party used social media to announce the result of the contest after Nick Clegg resigned in May following a devastating election result.

Despite being endorsed by two former leaders, including Paddy Ashdown, and veteran Shirley Williams, the former health minister did not manage to secure enough votes from the 60,000 members who were eligible to vote.

He won 43.4pc of the vote to Tim Farron’s 56.5pc.

Mr Farron will be holding his first rally this evening, where he will address hundreds of party activists for the first time as their leader.

Mr Lamb said he would give Mr Farron his full backing, saying he would be a “passionate leader of our party, championing social justice and leading from the front in our campaign to rebuild the liberal voice in our country.”

“This leadership election has energised and united our party,” he said..

Liberal Democrat Party President Sal Brinton said: “Both Tim and Norman ran distinctively liberal, strong campaigns that spoke to party members across the UK. At numerous hustings and meetings with members, they spoke of their liberal values, the direction they think we should go, and how to best rebuild the party over the coming months and years.

“Tim is a fantastic communicator and his energy, enthusiasm and passion will inspire and drive the Liberal Democrats back to winning ways.”

Mr Lamb, who was a health minister under the last coalition government, admitted that the party had made “stupid mistakes” during the last Government, but has staunchly defended going into Government with the Conservatives in the national interest.

The Canaries fan has been MP for North Norfolk since 2001.

Unlike most of his colleagues he held his seat, but saw his share of the vote plummet 16pc, leaving him with a majority of just 4,043.

As a health minister Mr Lamb campaigned vigorously for mental health to be given parity of esteem with physical health in the NHS.

He revealed his personal interest earlier this year when he spoke about how his son Archie had been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder aged 15, a condition which, in his words, lead to “dark days” and a “very traumatic” decade for his family.

Former MP for Norwich South Simon Wright, a friend of Mr Lamb, said: “The Party has been fortunate to have two fantastic leadership candidates. Although I supported Norman, I have enormous respect for Tim. I have no doubt that he will lead the Lib Dems back to electoral success. Tim is a gifted communicator, and someone who will inspire and motivate people to join the liberal cause and to get involved in politics. We have already seen a tremendous growth in membership since the election.

“Norman will carry on as a brilliant Member of Parliament for North Norfolk. He is a real asset for our county, and he will continue to be a strong champion for liberal causes in Parliament.”

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