Tim Farron quits as leader of Liberal Democrats

Theresa May and Tim Farron

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has resigned his position because he is "torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political 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'.

PinkNews understands that the row goes beyond the row over whether Mr Farron believed that gay sex is a sin, with wider disagreements across other policy issues.

But the party failed to return nearer to their 2010 level of 57 seats, despite hoping to attract the support of pro-Remain voters.

Earlier today Lord Paddick tweeted he was resigning over "concerns about the leader's views on various issues" during the General Election.

In a hastily-arranged statement, and surrounded by his close colleagues, Mr Farron said he had been "proud" to lead the party for two years. I've tried to answer with grace and patience.

While questions about his faith were legitimate, he said they "distracted" from the party's election campaign.

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Despite some successes, the campaign was criticised for focusing on a second European Union referendum and Farron's appearances were dominated by questions over his views on gay sex and later on abortion.

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

Farron emerged three months later as the victor of the party's leadership contest.

Despite winning back seats in the south of England lost in 2015 and making headway in Scotland, the party's national performance was patchy - it lost its last remaining seat in Wales, former leader Nick Clegg was defeated and 375 of the party's candidates lost their deposits as they got less than 5% of the vote.

Lord Paddick's resignation came as Mr Farron announced the party was launching a deputy leadership contest.

Lord Paddick had represented the Liberal Democrats at an LGBT hustings during the election campaign, co-hosted by Stonewall, PinkNews and Pride in London. Former Business Secretary Vince Cable and Jo Swinson, who was a junior minister in the coalition government, are the favourites to replace him.

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