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Former Liberal Democrat leader: I regret saying gay sex isn’t a sin

Tim Farron (Getty Images)

Tim Farron, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, has expressed his “regret” at bowing to pressure to say gay sex is not sinful.

Speaking to Premier Christian Radio, Mr Farron, who is an Evangelical Anglican, also expressed frustration that his views on sexuality distracted attention from his party’s election campaign last year.

“The bottom line is, of course, I did [feel pressured] and there are things – including that – that I said that I regret,” he said.

“All they wanted to do is talk about my Christian beliefs and what they actually meant.

“Foolishly and wrongly, [I] attempted to push it away by giving an answer that, frankly, was not right.”

[Fr Lucie-Smith: Farron’s resignation spells dark times ahead for Christians in politics]

Throughout his two-year leadership of the party, Mr Farron faced continued scrutiny over his Christian beliefs. Shortly after becoming leader, he was constantly asked his view on gay sex during an interview with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman. He avoided answering directly.

The issue flared up again during the 2017 General Election campaign, which resulted in Mr Farron finally caving and saying he did not think it was sinful.

He resigned shorting after the election, saying he felt “torn” between following his faith and leading his party.

In a speech in November, he said faithful Christians are seen as “dangerous and offensive” in modern Britain.

“Liberalism has eaten itself because it has eaten the very world view that gave birth to it, that made it possible, and which makes it possible,” he said. “To relegate Christianity is to hollow out liberalism.”