BURNLEY MP Gordon Birtwistle faces a second rival in his bid to become the Lib Dem’s deputy leader in the House of Commons.

Mr Birtwistle, 70, was expected to be part of a two-horse race against Solihull MP Lorely Burt.

But Sir Malcolm Bruce, MP for Gordon, in north-east Scotland, has now also entered the contest despite his intention to stand down at the next election.

The Lancashire Telegraph revealed a fortnight ago how Mr Birtwistle had entered the race to replace Simon Hughes, who will be the Government’s minister of state for justice.

The Lib Dems’ 56 MPs will vote on the issue next Tuesday.