Tim Farron has resigned as leader of the Lib Dems suggesting that it’s not possible to be a committed Christian following the word of the Bible and be a successful political leader of a liberal party at the same time.
Mr Farron was repeatedly asked at the beginning of the campaign if he thought gay sex was a sin. He chose to answer a different question saying that being gay was not a sin.
After much questioning and distractions to the campaign, he eventually changed his line saying that gay sex was not a sin. Listening to his statement this evening you come away with the idea that he was not at all comfortable with that answer and that he felt he’d compromised his faith.
Mr Farron told newly elected and re-elected Lib Dem MPs of his decision at their first post-election meeting in Parliament and then went to Lib Dem HQ to made his very personal and emotional statement on camera.
Behind him stood the MPs and party staffers. There will be speculation that Sir Vince Cable will stand having been elected again for Twickenham after two years out of Parliament. The favourite could be Jo Swinson, also out of parliament for two years and now back as MP for East Dumbartonshire.
A new leader will be elected by the membership this Autumn’s Party Conference – much earlier if there is no contest and only one candidate when nominations close.
Some senior Lib Dems had hoped Mr Farron, though not expected to fight another election might hang around to give the party time to work out what it should do differently in the future. He’s not going to do that. They must make their mind up this summer and work out how a party that shared power in Coalition climbs back in public support to greater prominence and power.