Shirley Williams: Why I'm backing Norman Lamb

I can remember the first time I met Norman Lamb as a young man. I was struck by his energy, his enthusiasm, and his genuine desire to make life better for people. I was delighted when he joined the Liberal Democrats.

Since then I have watched with delight his career, first as a local councillor, then as North Norfolk MP and now as a widely-respected health minister. I should let you into a little secret. I persuaded Norman to stand a third time in North Norfolk after he came close to winning in 1997 - it also took me 3 attempts before I got elected to Parliament in 1964.

Since then, Norman has made a difference to the lives of tens of thousands of people - in North Norfolk and across the country. His commitment to the NHS, his compassion for children, elderly people and the chronically sick have impressed the doctors and nurses who care for them. He is exactly the kind of Minister the NHS needs.

In five weeks North Norfolk and the whole country will go to the polls. No one can predict how the election will go nationally. But it is vital that we keep Norman as North Norfolk’s strongest champion - speaking out on crucial local issues like health and care, transport, coastal erosion and education. I have particularly admired his commitment to those with mental illness.

This is where you can help. Norman and his team have launched an ambitious campaign to raise a re-election fighting fund. This money will be vital in making sure Norman gets re-elected on May 7th.

Unlike the other main parties - Labour, the Conservatives, and UKIP - the Liberal Democrats can’t just rely on unions or city bankers to pay for their campaigns. They rely on local supporters to help people like Norman get re-elected.

Please help if you can. Norman and his team have raised over £5,000 so far. That is a fantastic achievement. Now they are aiming to reach a target of £8,000 by polling day, which will go directly to Norman's campaign. Can you help by making a donation today? It is so important North Norfolk keeps Norman Lamb as a strong voice for local people.

Best wishes,

Shirley Williams