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Gay Liberal Democrat cabinet minister labels Tim Farron ‘illiberal and prejudiced’ over gay sex views

June 16, 2017
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performs on the Toyota Mane Stage during day 2 of 2017 Stagecoach California's Country Music Festival at the Empire Polo Club on April 29, 2017 in Indio, California.

One of the most senior Liberal Democrats has laid into Tim Farron over his gay sex views.

David Laws, who served as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, labelled the outgoing Lib Dem leader “prejudiced”.

Farron agreed to step down as leader this week after saying he had been “torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader”.

Tim Farron

Laws made the stinging attack in an article for the i newspaper.

The openly gay politician accused the Lib Dem leader of fostering a “dangerous myth” about how people in same-sex relationships should be treated by society.

He wrote: “You cannot be a leader of a liberal party while holding fundamentally illiberal and prejudiced views which fail to respect our party’s great traditions of promoting equality for all our citizens.

“Many of us have despaired over the last few weeks in seeing all the good work of Liberal Democrats such as Lynne Featherstone, who drove through the equal marriage legislation under the coalition, undermined by Tim’s failure to be able to give direct and liberal responses on his own attitudes to homosexuality.

“A Liberal Democrat election campaign which should have appealed to liberal voters of all ages has been undermined by the outdated opinions and views which Tim clearly holds.”

Mr Farron resigned as leader Wednesday after intense pressure over his views on gay sex.

He said: “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.

“A better, wiser person than me may have been able to deal with this more successfully, to have remained faithful to Christ while leading a political party in the current environment.

“To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me.”

He spoke of the “personal quandary” he had found himself in and that question about his faith had “distracted” from his party’s election campaign.

Earlier Wednesday gay Lib Dem peer Lord Paddick quit as the party’ Shadow Home Secretary over a rift with leader Tim Farron.

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