Nick Clegg enters LibDem leadership race

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LONDON, Oct 19 (Reuters) Nick Clegg, the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Menzies Campbell as Liberal Democrat leader, formally declared his candidacy today.

Clegg, the party's home affairs spokesman, told reporters in his Sheffield constituency the LibDems had to be bold and reach out to millions of potential voters across the country.

''I want to bring our message into every family, every home and every community,'' he said.

''And that is why, today, I am announcing my candidacy for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats.'' He is the second declared candidate after Environment Spokesman Chris Huhne, 53, announced he was running on Wednesday.

Clegg, 40, has already won the public backing of former party leader Paddy Ashdown and manifesto chief Steve Webb, who said on Thursday he would not be running.

But neither Campbell, 66, who surprised the party by quitting on Monday after months of jibes about his age, nor his predecessor Charles Kennedy has endorsed a candidate.

REUTERS ARB PM1625

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