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Principale » Britain's Liberal Democrats leader announces resignation

Britain's Liberal Democrats leader announces resignation

15 Juin 2017

Gay Lib Dem peer Lord Paddick has quit as the party' Shadow Home Secretary over a rift with leader Tim Farron.

The Liberal Democrats won 12 seats in last Thursday's election, up from the eight it won in 2015, but disappointing some party members who expected it to do better as the only party campaigning for another referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU.

Whatever we think of Tim Farron's views on gay sex, a subject he was repeatedly questioned about during the general election campaign, it is hard to get away from a sense of sadness that living a Christian life can be incompatible with political leadership.

Lord Paddick, who was the most senior openly gay police officer in the United Kingdom serving as Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service from 2003 to 2007, announced his departure on Twitter.

"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".

"As a leader of a political party, I don't (and never will) see my role as making theological pronouncements".

In a shock announcement less than a week after the general election, he said he was "torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader".

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"I'm not a man of faith, but I'm sure I was not alone in being moved by the way Tim spoke about the struggle he found in balancing his faith and his politics.

Even so, I seem to have been the subject of suspicion because of what I believe, and who my faith is in".

'In which case we are kidding ourselves if we think we yet live in a tolerant, liberal society.

"I take the view though that as a political leader, my job is not to pontificate on theological matters". And then imagine what would lead me to voluntarily relinquish that honour.

He intends to serve until the parliamentary recess begins next month.

In the words of Isaac Watts it would have to be something "so wonderful, so divine, (it) demands my heart, my life, my all".

"In the last parliament we didn't have any women in our parliamentary party and we didn't feel it was right to elect a deputy in those circumstances", Farron said. Among possible replacements are Vince Cable and Jo Swinson, both former ministers who have reclaimed their former seats.

Britain's Liberal Democrats leader announces resignation