Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Farron quits as Liberal Democrat leader over his Christian faith

Tim Farron has resigned as the leader of the Lib Dems, saying he can't continue in the face of continuing questions over his faith.
Mr Farron said he had been torn between his Christian faith and serving as a political leader and had now decided to step aside.

He said: "The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader.

"A better, wiser person than me may have been able to deal with this more successfully, to have remained faithful to Christ while leading a political party in the current environment.

"To be a political leader - especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 - and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible's teaching, has felt impossible for me."

The shock announcement came just hours after the party's openly gay home affairs spokesman Lord Paddick announced he was quitting, citing "concerns about the leader's views on various issues".

Reacting to Mr Farron's decision, Lord Paddick told Sky News: "I'm very sad for Tim Farron. I had a long conversation with Tim yesterday and we have a lot of respect for each other".

Mr Farron was criticised during the General Election campaign for failing to answer questions about his views on homosexuality.

He made clear he supported equal marriage and LGBT rights, but in an interview did not say whether or not he thought it was a sin.
After days of pressure to clarify his stance, Mr Farron finally made clear he did not believe gay sex is a sin, but he continued to face questions in interviews.

In his statement, Mr Farron said the continued questions over his faith showed "we are kidding ourselves" if people thought Britain was a tolerant liberal society.

"I'm a liberal to my finger tips, and that liberalism means that I am passionate about defending the rights and liberties of people who believe different things to me," he said.

"There are Christians in politics who take the view that they should impose the tenets of faith on society, but I have not taken that approach because I disagree with it - it's not liberal and it is counterproductive when it comes to advancing the gospel.

"Even so, I seem to be the subject of suspicion because of what I believe and who my faith is in.

"In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society. That's why I have chosen to step down as leader of the Liberal Democrats."

SKY        News.