HILLARY Clinton has called for young people to 'defend democracy' during a wide-ranging speech in Oxford on Monday evening. 

The former presidential candidate addressed a packed Sheldonian Theatre for Oxford University’s annual Romanes Lecture.

Mrs Clinton stopped to talk to fans outside after her lecture, and even posed for selfies with people in the waiting crowd.

Video - courtesy of Harry Ward

She urged students to become 'effective activists' and 'problem solvers' in light of concerns over Russian influence on the 2016 US election and Brexit referendum. 

Oxford Mail:

Mrs Clinton hailed the 'millions of people' who have become 'unlikely activists' since Donald Trump beat her nearly two years ago but said there was a need to 'redouble our efforts.'

She accused the Trump regime of 'waging war on the rule of law' and criticised recent moves to separate families facing deportation. 

Joking that since she had last been in the city, her presidential campaign 'did not exactly work out as I had hoped,' Mrs Clinton said she now believes: "The survival of our democratic institutions is up to each generation."

Stressing that she was 'fundamentally optimistic in trying times', the former secretary-of-state cited examples including the recent Irish abortion referendum to show that young people could be the drivers of change. 

She was given a standing ovation by those in the room while hundreds of people watched a live stream on Facebook.  

Oxford Mail:

Mrs Clinton began the speech by reminiscing about previous trips to the city, including seeing her daughter Chelsea receive her PHD during a ceremony that was conducted all in Latin. 

Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, had been a Rhodes Scholar at University College in 1968 and Mrs Clinton recounted a story of returning with him to his old college after he was elected governor of Arkansas.

She said the porter had quipped: "Mr Clinton, I hear you have been elected king of a place with three men and a dog."

Before delivering the speech the 70-year-old was spotted walking in Oxford, a city she said had a 'special place in my heart', earlier in the day.

Comedian David Baddiel, who is performing at the Oxford Playhouse tonight, joked that he was thinking of going along to 'heckle'.