LONDON: Britain's Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron today announced his resignation after party leaders rebelled against his views against homosexuality, and said he had found it tough to reconcile his Christian values with his political life.
Farron had reportedly penned a resignation speech for after the general election last week but after the Lib Dems gained some seats in the aftermath, he decided to hold off on the announcement.
In his resignation statement to the party, he said: "From the very first day of my leadership, I have faced questions about my Christian faith. I've tried to answer with grace and patience. Sometimes my answers could have been wiser," he said.
"At the start of this election, I found myself under scrutiny again - asked about matters to do with my faith. 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."
He said he should have dealt "more wisely" with questions relating to his faith during the election campaign, including his views on gay sex and insisted he had taken the decision to step down voluntarily and retained the support of his party.
Lord Brian Paddick, formerly the Metropolitan police's deputy assistant commissioner and an openly gay Lib Dem peer, had tweeted yesterday: "I've resigned as @LibDems Shadow Home Secretary over concerns about the leader's views on various issues that were highlighted during GE17 (general election 2017)."
Farron succeeded Nick Clegg in 2015 after the party's disastrous election result. The party increased its tally of seats from eight to 12 at last week's election but its vote share fell and several party figures criticised the campaign.