Tim Farron, leader of UK’s third most-popular party, the Liberal Democrats, blamed media scrutiny and intolerance of his Christian faith, as he stepped down from his post in the aftermath of last week’s election.
“From the very first day of my leadership, I have faced questions about my Christian faith,” Farron, 47, said in a televised resignation statement. “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.”
Tim Farron resigns as Liberal Democrat leader. Full statement: t.co/Ap7JgxRzA7 — Liberal Democrats (@libdems) 14 June 2017
“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,” continued Farron, whose party obtained 2.37 million votes, but only 12 seats out of 650 in the June 8 parliamentary poll.
Farron complained that questions over issues such as abortion or whether he believes homosexuality is a sin – to which he recently replied, “My personal faith is my personal faith” – were “distracting attention from our campaign.”