Rapper Dappy backs Norman Lamb's bid for leadership of Lib Dems

Former care minister, standing against Tim Farron for party leadership, wins unlikely endorsement of former N-Dubz singer, who is managed by Lamb’s son

The former N-Dubz rapper Dappy has backed the former care minister Norman Lamb to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

His endorsement is not as incongruous as it sounds: Dappy, who is best known for having been the lead singer of the north London grime trio N-Dubz, is managed by Lamb’s son Archie, who founded the talent agency and record label Takeover Entertainment in 2006 with Kwasi Danquah, also known as the rapper Tinchy Stryder.

Lamb remortgaged his house to finance his son’s business venture, something he said the former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg was “amazed by”.

“I’m backing @NormanLamb to become leader of the Liberal Democrats and help put power back in the hands of individuals,” Dappy wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday, linking through to the politician’s campaign website.

I'm backing @NormanLamb to become leader of the Liberal Democrats and help put power back in the hands of individuals http://t.co/cp5hzX7NNr

— Dappy (@TheDappy) May 14, 2015

The leadership contest, triggered by the resignation of Clegg last Friday after the party lost 48 of its 56 MPs in the general election, will be decided by mid-July.

It is expected to be a head-to-head between Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale who announced his intention to stand on Thursday, and Lamb, the MP for North Norfolk, who confirmed his intention to run on Monday.

@dwilliamsHSJ @xtophercook @paulwaugh Is @DizzeeRascal free?

— Tim Farron (@timfarron) May 14, 2015

Farron’s campaign has so far been backed by the former equalities minister Jo Swinson, three of the party’s eight MPs (Greg Mulholland, Mark Williams and John Pugh), and the leaders of the Scottish and Welsh wings of the Lib Dems, Kirsty Williams and Willie Rennie.

Lamb, who is thought to be more aligned with the politics of Nick Clegg, has been formally backed by the Lib Dem MP Tom Brake.

Responding to Lamb’s new high-profile backer, Farron tweeted asking whether the grime MC Dizzee Rascal was free.

Speaking to the Guardian in 2009 about his unlikely connections to the London grime scene, Lamb said his mother was “probably the only 90-year-old in Britain with a poster of Lethal ­Bizzle in her kitchen”.

“At one stage the average age of investors in Tinchy Stryder’s career was about 85,” he said.

To get on the ballot, a candidate must have the endorsement of 200 members from 20 local party organisations as well as 10% of the parliamentary party, which amounts to needing the support of less than one of the eight remaining Lib Dem MPs. The members will cast their ballots under an alternative vote system and the winner will be announced on 16 July.


Frances Perraudin

The GuardianTramp

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