British Lib Dem leader quits, says can’t lead party and be a Christian

SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (JUNE 15, 2017) (UK POOL) – Tim Farron, the leader of Britain’s pro-European Union Liberal Democrat Party, resigned on Wednesday (June 14) saying questions about his Christian faith ahead of last week’s election meant he felt it was impossible to continue in the role.

The Liberal Democrats were the only nationwide party which campaigned to offer Britons another referendum on whether to leave the EU. But they failed to increase their support and have only 12 out of parliament’s 650 seats.

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.

He said the focus on his faith had been a distraction. The party’s spokesman on home affairs quit earlier on Wednesday citing concerns about Farron’s views that were highlighted during campaigning.

He will stay on in his job until the party starts the process of electing a new leader next month. Former Business Secretary Vince Cable and Jo Swinson, who was a junior minister in the coalition government, are the favourites to replace him.