Torn between faith and politics - Tim Farron quits as Liberal Democrat leader

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'.

Although the party could still play an important role with Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives lacking an overall majority, Farron had been criticised for running a disappointing campaign and had faced repeated questions about his Christian beliefs, particularly whether he believed gay sex was sinful.

"To be a leader, particularly of a progressive liberal party in 2017 and to live as a committed Christian and to hold faithful to the Bible's teaching has felt impossible for me". The Liberal Democrats did make a net gain of four seats but this was far lower than what they had been hoping for; early on in the campaign Farron talked about his desire to double the number of Lib Dem MPs. An odd choice of person to run a liberal party.

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From the very first day of my leadership, I have faced questions about my Christian faith. Sometimes my answers could have been wiser.

He says he is a "liberal to his fingertips" and that "liberalism means that I am passionate about defending the rights and liberties of people who believe different things to me".

The self-confessed Christian evangelist had been repeatedly asked about how his faith affects his politics, and specifically on homosexuality in the lead up to the snap General Election that took place on 8 June.

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'In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society.

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

"In the last Parliament, we didn't have any women and we didn't feel it was right to elect a deputy in those circumstances", he said.

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Mr Clegg said on Twitter: "This must have been an agonising decision given Tim's lifelong dedication to the Liberal Democrats". These are unusual times in United Kingdom politics. "But I wanted to revive the role as it gives the party another powerful voice and has helped give prominence to many of our notable MPs, including Ming Campbell, Simon Hughes and Vince Cable".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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