03/20/2012 05:17 EDT | Updated 05/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Jack Layton's mother calls on NDP members to support Brian Topp as leader

OTTAWA - Jack Layton's mother is asking New Democrats to pick Brian Topp to fill her son's shoes.

Doris Layton has sent a letter to NDP members saying she's seen what it takes to be a good politician, leader and statesmen — and like her son, she says Topp has it.

Layton says she watched Topp work alongside Jack during several campaigns, developing policy and building the party.

And she says her son felt confident because of Topp's presence.

She says Layton often said that Topp should never be underestimated or counted out as he'll bring the party to victory.

Topp was the first to declare his intention to run for leadership of the party following Jack Layton's death from cancer last August.

The NDP are choosing a new leader at a convention in Toronto this weekend.