New Lib Dem leader set to be announced

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The winner of the Liberal Democrat leadership contest is set to be announced today.

Two candidates are vying to replace former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at the head of the party, following the party’s near-electoral wipe-out in May’s General Election.

Former Health Minister Norman Lamb, who was a minister in the coalition government, is up against former party president Tim Farron – who remained detached from the coalition.

Both of the candidates spoke to PinkNews during the election periods, addressing their respective records on LGBT issues, and their plans for the future of the party.

Mr Farron – who is the front-runner in the election – made a number of pledges on LGBT issues.

He also spoke openly about his poor voting record on equality legislation. He claimed he “regrets anything that gives people the wrong impression”.

The politician told PinkNews he voted against the Programme Motion on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act because he was trying to secure more time to discuss trans issues.

However, he was forced to apologise to rights campaigner Peter Tatchell – after claiming Mr Tatchell agreed with his decision to vote against 2008’s Sexual Orientation Regulations.

Meanwhile, Mr Lamb called for more LGBT characters on children’s TV, and said that it is “alarming” that Ireland’s gender recognition laws are now ahead of the UK’s.

His campaign is chaired by former Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone, the MP responsible for same-sex marriage, who was unseated at the last election.

Voting closes at 2pm – and the result is set to be announced before 5pm this afternoon.