Sheffield has a ‘critical’ part to play in the recovery of the Liberal Democrats, one of the candidates hoping to lead them said while visiting the city.
Norman Lamb met supporters in Broomhill while on the campaign trail - although the planned meeting point at a pub had to be moved to Costa Coffee as the Fox and Duck was not open in time for his arrival.
The Liberal Democrats were cut to just eight MPs in last month’s election, although Sheffield Hallam MP and former leader Nick Clegg clung on with a reduced majority.
Mr Clegg stood down the day after the election.
Mr Lamb, an MP in Norfolk, said: “Sheffield’s part is critical, it was a real stronghold for us.
“Thankfully Nick Clegg prevailed in Sheffield Hallam but we need to rebuild the council base here and in many other areas around the country.
“We were running Sheffield Council not that long ago and I feel very confident about the future of the party because fundamentally this is a liberal age. There are many people who share our views and we need to reach out and convince them.”
Former health minister Mr Lamb said he believed he was the man for the top job because he ‘had a strong track record of fighting for Liberal Democrat values both inside and outside of Government’.
A leader is expected to be chosen before summer.