Tim Farron resigns as Lib Dem leader
Politician says his Christian faith is incompatible with being head of his party
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has announced he will resign as head of the party, citing an incompatibility between his faith as a Christian and political leadership.
"A better, wiser person may have been able to deal with this more successfully, to remain faithful to Christ while leading a political party in the current environment," he said in a statement.
"To be a leader, particularly of a progressive liberal party in 2017 and to live as a committed Christian and to hold faithful to the Bible's teaching has felt impossible for me. I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader," wrote Farron.
According to The Guardian, several senior Lib Dem figures visited Farron in recent days "to attempt to persuade him to step down, though he was initially reluctant".
Questions remain as to whether Farron reached the decision himself or was pushed from the role following the resignation of his home affairs spokesman Lord Brian Paddick.
"I've resigned as @LibDems Shadow Home Secretary over concerns about the leader's views on various issues that were highlighted during GE17," Paddick said in a tweet that has since been deleted.
Sources within the party believe Paddick's decision to step aside "was the beginning of a coup against the leader, who despite increasing the number of his MPs was seen as ineffective during the campaign", the Daily Telegraph says.