Tim Farron faces Lib Dem anger over event criticising ‘gay lobby’
Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has dropped out of an event this weekend that lashes out at the ‘gay lobby’ in promotional material.
Farron, who remains a Liberal Democrat MP, came under fire during his leadership of the party in 2016 over questions about his beliefs on gay sex.
The evangelical Christian politician has since spoken out to repeatedly criticise “intolerance” towards his views within the party and the LGBT movement.
But Farron came under scrutiny again today after it emerged he was set to attend an event criticising the “gay lobby”.
The MP was set to speak at the Northern Men’s Convention on Saturday May 12, at Holy Trinity Platt in Manchester.
A description on the event’s website lashes out at the movement for LGBT-inclusivity within the Church of England.
It states:”The assaults on orthodox Christian teaching, and morality, especially in the area of sexuality, seem to have increased at an alarming rate.
“Those who have stood firm in the Anglican tradition at General Synod have been ridiculed and vilified. The leadership from those in authority in the denominations who should be the guardians of biblical truth has been muted to say the least and even in Bible teaching churches many appear to be wavering under the onslaught of the gay lobby.”
The release goes on to criticise “the increasing problems associated with immigration, and Islam in particular… which push Christians further and further to the margins.”
After a leaflet for the event was shared on Twitter, a wave of Liberal campaigners spoke out to condemn Farron.
In a statement to PinkNews, Farron said: “I agreed many months ago to attend a church-organised event but just today I’ve seen promotional material for it which contains things I’m deeply concerned and saddened by.
“As a result, I have withdrawn from the event.”
A spokesperson for the LGBT+ Liberal Democrats told PinkNews previously: “We are disappointed to see that Tim Farron has once more allowed his judgement to lapse in the engagements he chooses to agree to.
“We condemn homophobia, transphobia, sexism and racism whatever setting they occur in.
“We call on Tim Farron to immediately withdraw from this event and apologise.”
After his withdrawal, the group added: “We call on Tim to apologise, having withdrawn, for lack of care.”
The Liberal Democrats did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Farron was understood to be on a ‘final warning’ with the party earlier this year.
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In January Farron spoke out in an interview with Premier Christian Radio, admitting that he had misled the public by claiming he did not believe gay sex to be sinful.
The ex-leader, an evangelical Christian, told the station he “regrets” making the comments: “I foolishly and wrongly attempted to push it away by giving an answer that frankly was not right.”
Farron said he felt forced to “compromise my faith and say things that were not true” to lead the party, before claiming that his critics were intolerant of Christians.
At the time a Liberal Democrat source told PinkNews that the issue would be “dealt with” and that Farron had been given a final warning after generating several negative headlines.