Farron decided to quit during election campaign
14 July 2017 Political News
Tim Farron has denied suggestions he deceived voters after revealing he decided to quit as Lib Dem leader two weeks into the election campaign.
Mr Farron did not until six days after polling day, having faced repeated questions during the campaign over whether he believed gay sex was a sin.
He said his religion had made him a “subject of suspicion” and that he thought “there isn’t a way forward out of this” without either compromising on his evangelical Christian faith or causing damage to the party.
Speaking about his decision, Mr Farron told the BBC: “I made the decision about two weeks into the election campaign.
“I thought there isn’t a way forward out of this without me either compromising or just causing damage to the party in the long run.
“I kind of thought well, in which case I cannot see a way I will continue to be leader into the future.
“But I kind of thought, right you’ve got to put that into a drawer, don’t talk to anybody else about it, get on and do as good a job as you can during the election.”
Mr Farron’s announcement last month came hours after the party’s openly gay home affairs spokesman Lord Paddick said he was standing down, citing “concerns about the leader’s views on various issues”.
The outgoing Lib Dem leader said he “compartmentalised” his decision to quit whilst he was campaigning, and denied he had deceived voters who backed his party.
“Well, they’re giving the party the vote, and the Lib Dems, thanks to what we’ve done in the last two years, will continue,” Mr Farron told interviewer Emma Barnett.
“So in every election there is a reasonable chance that leaders will step down.
“But I think, you know this yourself, when you make a decision and it’s in your head and you’ve not really shared it with anybody, not written it down, it’s there to be changed.
“I went into that campaign trying to … fight for the country I believed in.”