Tim Farron: I made decision to quit as Lib Dem leader two weeks into election campaign

Posted On: 
14th July 2017

Tim Farron decided to quit as Lib Dem leader two weeks into the general election campaign, he has revealed.

"I made the decision about two weeks into the election campaign."
Credit: 
PA Images

Mr Farron stunned Westminster when he announced he was quitting six days after the election, which saw his party increase its number of MPs from nine to 12.

He claimed he had found it "impossible" to reconcile his deeply-help Christian beliefs with being the leader of a political party.

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Mr Farron had been dogged by his initial refusal to make clear whether he believed gay sex was a sin, and by remarks he had made in the past opposing abortion.

In an interview with Radio 5Live, the MP said: "I made the decision about two weeks into the election campaign.

"I thought there isn't a way forward out of this without me either compromising or just causing damage to the party in the long run."

He added that he had chosen to put the information "into a drawer, don't talk to anybody else about it, get on and do as good a job as you can during the election".

When asked if he felt he had deceived voters by asking them to vote for his party when he was planning to step down, he said "not in the slightest".

“In every election there is a reasonable chance that leaders will step down," he said. "I just thought 'I am here to do a job'.”

Mr Farron insisted he “threw everything at” the campaign, despite his decision to step down. 

He said it had been his job to “save the party” and insisted it had "left intensive care and is back relevant".

"The Liberal Democrats still exist and we're moving forward,” he added. 

Sir Vince Cable is all-but certain to succeed Mr Farron as leader after all his potential rivals withdrew from the race.