Tim Farron was right to resign over his 'offensive' views, says colleague
David Laws said that Farron had undermined the party’s general election efforts - and propagated a 'dangerous myth'.
A former senior colleague of Tim Farron has insisted that he was right to resign as Liberal Democrat leader after undermining the party’s election campaign with his "outdated and frankly offensive religious views".
Lib Dem insiders believe that Farron’s views on homosexuality lost them key seats such as Nick Clegg’s constituency of Sheffield North. They also prevented the Lib Dems from making further gains elsewhere, it is claimed.
But David Laws, the former schools minister, said that Farron had done more than just undermine the party’s general election efforts.
"Far more importantly, Tim has propagated the dangerous myth that our society can respect and embrace people in same sex relationships, while believing their activities and character to be in some way immoral," he said.
In his resignation statement, Farron complained that opponents were being intolerant when it came to his religious beliefs.
“I seem to be 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,” he claimed.
Some commentators have agreed with Farron’s suggestion that he is being persecuted, but Laws gave short shrift to this argument in an article for the i.
He said: "Of course, many defenders of Tim will argue that his position on these issues is perfectly liberal, and that it is his critics who are failing to be ‘liberal’, by not respecting his Christian views.
"Tim has made this point himself, and clearly implied that he views same sex relationships as wrong, but will as a liberal vote to tolerate people who are in such relationships.
"But as a gay man, I do not wish to be ‘tolerated’. I wish to be respected for who I am.
"And I want a party leader whose respect for human equality comes before outdated and frankly offensive religious views."