Equalities minister: Tim Farron needs to be ‘honest’ about views on gay people

Equalities minister Caroline Dinenage has hit out at newly-elected Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, after he refused to say whether he thinks homosexuality is a sin.

Tim Farron was elected as leader of the Lib Dems earlier this month, edging out former Health Minister Norman Lamb – but ran into trouble while discussing his voting record with Channel 4 News.

The Lib Dem leader was directly asked if he believes gay sex is a sin four times – but failed to provide an answer.

PinkNews put the same question to Tory MP Caroline Dinenage.

She responded: “No, of course not!”

Ms Dinenage added of Mr Farron’s answer: “It’s difficult, because I’m from a different political party – but I would say that the LGBT community have a right to know what they’re voting for.

“He needs to come out and say, one way or another – if you want to be in the position where people will trust you on other issues, you’ve got to be honest!”

The Tory MP for Gosport was appointed as a junior Minister for Equalities in May this year – though she voted against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill in 2013, claiming the state had “no right” to implement it.

However, in an interview with PinkNews, the minister said she immediately regretted her vote against equality.

She said: “As soon as I’d gone through the voting lobby, I thought to myself, ‘what on earth are you doing?’

“If you look at my voting record, there were five or six votes on same-sex marriage and I didn’t vote against it again. I only did it the once.

“I thought, ‘This is ridiculous, you have to go with actually what’s in your heart and what you believe in’ – which is why the record will show that I then didn’t do it again.”

She added: “The other thing I will say, is I think that PinkNews really needs to move on as well.”

Click here to read the full interview.