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Tim Farron quits as leader of Liberal Democrats

Tim Farron quits as leader of Liberal Democrats

Farron, party leader since July 2015, said he was stepping down because it was "impossible" for him to reconcile his faith with the liberal leanings of his party.

Tim Farron has dramatically quit as leader of the Liberal Democrats, saying he can not face continued questions over his Christian faith.

Mr Farron faced intense criticism during the election campaign for failing to answer questions about his position on homosexuality.

He added: "Now a third of our parliamentary party is female and we have our most diverse group of MPs ever, I feel our MPs form a more representative group to elect a deputy leader". "Sometimes my answers could have been wiser", he said.

'Journalists have every right to ask what they see fit.

In a shock announcement less than a week after the general election, he said he was "torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader".

Slamming the climate of persecution against Christians in politics, that does not seem to extend to questioning the beliefs of other politicians from different faiths in the United Kingdom, Mr. Farron continued: "We are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society".

"I want to say one more thing: I joined our party when I was 16, it is in my blood, I love our history, our people, I thoroughly love my party".

It was also clear when he claimed that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was somehow "not progressive", or "demonstrably the worst leader in British political history". And then imagine what would lead me to voluntarily relinquish that honour.

'In the words of Isaac Watts it would have to be something "so wonderful, so divine, (it) demands my heart, my life, my all"'.

Several prominent former MPs won back seats they lost in the 2015 election, including former cabinet ministers and coalition frontbenchers Vince Cable, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson.

Mr Farron said that he would carry on as party leader until Parliament breaks for the summer recess next month, when an election for a new leader would be held.

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