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Norman Lamb faces investigation after ‘push poll’ on opponent’s same-sex marriage record

Nick Duffy June 22, 2015

The Liberal Democrats are investigating the campaign of leadership candidate Norman Lamb – over allegations campaigners used a ‘push poll’ to raise his opponent’s poor record on same-sex marriage.

Former Health minister Norman Lamb is one of two candidates running to succeed Nick Clegg as Lib Dem leader, running against former Party President Tim Farron.

Mr Lamb was a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, while Mr Farron has a mixed record on the issue – voting against the programme motion and abstaining on the third reading.

However, allegations have this week surfaced that Mr Lamb’s campaign team contacted party members under the guise of an opinion poll for the central party – in order to raise Mr Farron’s poor record on same-sex marriage and abortion.

The party has launched an investigation into the claims, after the allegations were reported in the Independent on Sunday.

A Liberal Democrat spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of an alleged breach of party rules and are looking into the issue as a matter of urgency.

“The Liberal Democrats take any alleged breaches of party rules extremely seriously. The party has contacted both teams to reiterate rules on the leadership process.”

Mr Lamb told the newspaper: “Volunteer members of my team acted without my authority. As soon as it was clear what had happened, I had to be decisive and removed them from my campaign.

“As soon as I saw Tim I talked to him about it and said I won’t tolerate it from my campaign.

“In a situation we are in at the moment, we cannot allow ourselves to fall out or behave irresponsibly.”

In an interview with PinkNews last month, Mr Farron went into detail about his voting record on LGBT rights, and made a number of pledges on the issue.

He later issued an apology to Peter Tatchell – after claiming in a BBC interview that the campaigner agreed with him when he voted against an anti-discrimination law.

Writing for PinkNews earlier this month, Mr Lamb pledged to “lead the way” on LGBT rights as Lib Dem leader.

Update: The article previously claimed that Mr Farron “voted against both the programme motion and the third reading”. While he failed to vote in favour, he in fact abstained on the third reading.

More: civil partnership, civil union, equal marriage, Gay, gay weddings, lesbian, lesbian wedding, marriage, marriage equality, mp, Norman Lamb, same sex weddings, tim farron, Union, wedding

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