News / Vancouver

NDP heavyweight Peter Julian backs Jagmeet Singh's leadership bid

Veteran politician and former leadership rival, Peter Julian, has been impressed by the breakthrough Singh had made in signing up new members for the NDP.

NDP leadership candidates, from left, Guy Caron, Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Peter Julian participate in a debate in Montreal, Sunday, March 26, 2017. Julian says Jagmeet Singh represents the diversity the NDP needs in order to thrive against the Liberals and Conservatives.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

NDP leadership candidates, from left, Guy Caron, Charlie Angus, Niki Ashton and Peter Julian participate in a debate in Montreal, Sunday, March 26, 2017. Julian says Jagmeet Singh represents the diversity the NDP needs in order to thrive against the Liberals and Conservatives.

VANCOUVER — Federal NDP leadership hopeful Jagmeet Singh has clinched the backing of veteran politician and former leadership rival, Peter Julian.

Julian says Singh represents the diversity the NDP needs in order to thrive against the Liberals and Conservatives.

He says he has been impressed in recent weeks by the breakthrough Singh had made in signing up new members.

Julian notes there is a distinction between debating fellow leadership hopefuls and choosing whom to support, and he took the time necessary to make the right choice.

Julian, who represents the British Columbia riding of New Westminster-Burnaby, dropped out of the race in July, citing poor fundraising numbers.

The race to replace outgoing NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is heating up, with the first round of voting scheduled to take place later this month.

Singh was elected to the Ontario legislature as a provincial New Democrat in 2011 and announced his intention to make a run for federal leadership last May.

"I cannot highlight enough how truly special this is," Singh announced Thursday, saying Julian's endorsement marked one of the most important days of his campaign.

Singh will face off against fellow contenders Niki Ashton, Guy Caron and Charlie Angus in Vancouver on Sunday for the final leadership debate.

Voting for the next NDP leader begins Sept. 18, but final results aren't expected until October.

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