Tim Farron has announced his resignation as Liberal Democrat leader. He said he felt “remaining faithful to Christ” was incompatible with leading his party, reports BBC Russian Service.
"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," Farron said in his statement.
From the very first day of my leadership, I have faced questions about my Christian faith. I’ve tried to answer with grace and patience. Sometimes my answers could have been wiser.
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," he said in a televised statement.
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."
"I'm liberal to the core, which means that I consider it necessary to protect the rights and freedoms of people regardless of their faith," he added.
The Liberal Democrat leader has been repeatedly pressed during the general election over his personal beliefs on issues including homosexuality and abortion, though he has insisted he does not believe gay sex is a sin and has said he is pro-choice.
Farron said he would serve as leader until the summer recess, and then trigger a leadership election.
The party’s home affairs spokesman, openly gay Lord Brian Paddick, resigned from his post shortly before Farron made his announcement, citing concerns about the party leader’s views.
the early parliamentary elections held on 8 June, the Liberal Democrats received 12 seats. According to the Telegraph sources, now the party can be headed by Joe Swinson.