Leader comment: Sad end to Tim Farron’s tenure

Tim Farron has resigned as Liberal Democrat leader after a clash between faith and politics.
Tim Farron has resigned as Liberal Democrat leader after a clash between faith and politics.
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Whatever we think of Tim Farron’s views on gay sex, a subject he was repeatedly questioned about during the general election campaign, it is difficult to get away from a sense of sadness that living a Christian life can be incompatible with political leadership.

The Liberal Democrats have as strong a record as any party on gay rights, and Mr Farron insists he is passionate about defending the rights and liberties of people who believe differently to him. He has also denied that he believes gay sex is a sin. But there was discomfort within his party over his personal views, and even though membership doubled and there was a modest increase in Lib Dem MPs at last week’s general election, his effectiveness was always going to be dogged by questions over his faith. He did not try to impose his beliefs on his party or the electorate, but this personal matter would forever be under intense public scrutiny.

Meanwhile, we await confirmation of a deal that would see the Conservatives kept in power by a party that staunchly opposes gay marriage and abortion. These are strange times in UK politics.