Tim Farron elected to lead Liberal Democrats

Tim Farron has been elected to lead the Liberal Democrats, replacing former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Former party president Tim Farron was one of two candidates were vying to replace Mr Clegg at the head of the party, following its electoral wipe-out in May’s General Election.

It was announced today that Mr Farron had bested former Health Minister Norman Lamb.

A statement from the party said: “We are delighted to announce that Tim Farron has been elected as Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

“In an all-member ballot for the leadership, 56% of members voted with the result revealed this afternoon.

“Tim Farron received 56.5% of the votes and in second place Norman Lamb received the backing of 43.5%.”

Both candidates had spoken to PinkNews during the campaign, with Mr Farron  speaking 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.

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

When challenged on his opposition, he claimed that “Peter Tatchell was on the same side as me” – but Mr Tatchell, a veteran campaigner for of LGBT rights, was actually a vocal supporter of the Act.

When Mr Tatchell later confirmed to PinkNews that he “was not on the same side as Tim Farron”, Mr Farron apologised for “misremembering” his position.

Making pledges on LGBT issues during the interview, Mr Farron said: “On LGBT+ issues, how do you follow it? I’ll give you three things I’m very keen we do.

“One, when it comes to the equal marriage legislation, I think we really missed a trick on trans issues. On the spousal veto, I think it’s an appalling thing that one person is allowed to block another person’s freedom. We should be making that a priority.

“Secondly, it strikes me as deeply troubling is that there was no regulation of psychotherapists in the UK for quack conversion therapy.

“Thirdly, we’ve got to end the gay blood ban, which is a disgrace. My pledge to you is that my first opposition day bill will be getting rid of the gay blood ban. All of these things need to be based on the science, not on prejudice.”