Tim Farron runs for deputy leader; Campbell and Munt back him

News from the Tim Farron campaign camp:

Following the announcement by Vince Cable that he will be stepping down as Deputy Leader to concentrate on his new role as Secretary of State for Business, Tim Farron MP has been urged by colleagues to stand for the position of Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Commenting Tim said:

“Having served as Vince Cable’s PPS during his eight glorious weeks as acting leader, I am fully aware of what a difficult act he will be to follow and I’m so grateful to Vince for what he has achieved in the role.

“His new role as Business Secretary is one of immense importance and I understand entirely why he wants to concentrate all of his efforts on that job.

“Now that the Liberal Democrats form part of the coalition government, the role of the Deputy Leader will change, but it will also be extremely important as a voice that is unashamedly partisan but unflinchingly loyal.

“We were right to enter this coalition because it was in the national interest to do so and because at long last it has given us the chance to create a fair, free and green country. But it is also vital that the independence, radicalism and distinctiveness of the Liberal Democrats are maintained.

“I want to work alongside Nick Clegg to ensure that not only does the country benefit from this coalition, but that the Liberal Democrats’ electoral prospects benefit too. We have Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, local elections and a possible fair votes referendum all within the next year that the Liberal Democrats must win.

“Having served in the Shadow cabinet in the last few years and been active in the party since I was 16, I have the passion, experience and energy to take on the role of Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Sir Menzies Campbell added:

“I am delighted to be supporting Tim Farron for Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats. We need someone with substance in the role and someone who is both loyal and independent minded. Tim is one of the best communicators the party has, and represents a bright and confident future for the Liberal Democrats.”

Tessa Munt newly elected MP for Wells:

“As a new MP, I know how popular Tim is amongst the grassroots of the party, turning his marginal Westmorland and Lonsdale seat into one of the best Liberal Democrat results in the country.

“His engagement with young people is especially legendary and extremely effective. His commitment to the ideals of this party makes him the right man to help Nick Clegg communicate our message to a new generation.”

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  • Tim Farron certainly has a thing or two to tell us about winning votes from the Tories – if that is still what the Party is in the business of doing.

  • Delighted Tim Farron is running for Deputy.
    He us a first rate campaigner and an excellent communicator.

  • Martin Land 27th May '10 - 2:34pm

    Sorry, it’s the first time I’ve heard this being slung at one of our leading MPs. Evidence? Data? Or paranoia?

  • he’s got my vote.

  • I think we’re owed an explanation for his against the Equality Act.

  • His /vote/ that is. Apologies.


    I don’t, unlike some, read off from one vote malignant homophobia, nor do I put much stock in hearsay but I do think we need an explanation for it. It’s one thing to vote against the whip on the Lisbon treaty, it’s quite another to vote against it on LBGT equality.

  • Andrew Suffield 27th May '10 - 3:24pm

    his crass remarks at conference about the bar being full of gays putting his homophobic views on show

    I’ll give you crass, but that’s no indication of homophobia. I know quite a few people who say things like that, and many of them are bi.

    (“God, you people are so gay” “Yeah, so are you” “I know, I’m loving this” – typical exchange)

  • Oh yeah, I cant vote. Damn it…

  • Tim, you seem like a nice chap and apparently you are an excellent local MP but you have zero gravitas i’m afraid. I would want a bigger hitter in this role. Ed Davey would be perfect for this.

  • Ian Stewart 27th May '10 - 3:43pm

    very happy to see Tim put his hat into the ring…………..his success would bring a positive balance to the direction and momentum of our Party.

  • Tim,

    Peter Tatchell is not somebody I consider to represent my views as a gay man. Please don’t align yourselves to gay people suggesting that such a comparison is enough to dispel any criticisms that come your way about your voting record.

    I have massive concerns about your candidacy, originating mainly from your amendment to the debate on faith schools at Conference last spring. You sometimes joke about how you’re a minority within the party by being straight, well you’ve never been in a minority whilst at school by being gay, particularly at a faith school as I did. Freedom of speech is all well and good, but here we are talking about the positions of state-funded institutions that are looking after children. You stood up for the rights of the institutions, but I did not hear you once in your speech address the issue of homophobia within schools. If you’re all for freedom, then surely the freedom of sexuality should be part of that.

  • I agree with Neil!

  • Hells bells 27th May '10 - 4:08pm

    Tim isn’t homophobic. He has made jokes at conference, and indeed the majority of us (including plenty of LGBT people) found them funny. The conference bar IS usually full of gays, because we are a party that encompasses all different people. I’m sure Tim could take a joke about Christians.

    Please take his (brilliant) jokes in the context in which they were intended, especially before you slur one of the nicest and best MPs we have. We’re lucky to have Tim, and he’d make an excellent deputy leader. Go on Tim!

  • gravitas and Ed Davey should never be used in the same sentence

  • Paul McKeown 27th May '10 - 4:19pm

    Can we dispense with the personal jibes, please?

  • paul barker 27th May '10 - 4:24pm

    I would want to hear more about Tims views on Equality vs The churches as institutions.
    On more general grounds, another nice , young white man is not going to make our dreadful record on actual equality look any better.

  • If LGBT and secularism are the only things I might disagree with Tim on then I’d be happy supporting him. We do allow disagreement as a party, we do contain the likes of Evan Harris and Sara Scarlet. A choice between him and Simon would certainly be quite a difficult choice.

  • Charles Anglin 27th May '10 - 9:28pm

    I’ve known Tim Farron for nearly 20 years, although we are on different wings of the party and had many disagreements over the years, I can say as a gay man that he doesn’t he doesn’t have a homophobic bone in his body and I’m proud to call him my friend.

  • matt severn 27th May '10 - 9:42pm

    Just come back from campaigning with Tim in Kendal. He is a top rate MP who has energised a previously moribund seat in a way that is rarely seen.

  • James Robertson 27th May '10 - 9:42pm

    Wish you luck Tim.

    Just one thing – “I’m off knocking on doors now (defered council elections in Kendal today).” I looked into this, and the only elections in Kendal are parish council elections, which I believe in Kendal are highly tribal affairs. As someone who strongly believes that parish councils should be non-partisan, I would have a small problem with my party’s deputy leader actively promoting the party-politicisation of parish councils.

    As for the comments about homosexual attitudes, etc., I’m sure things aren’t what they seem but I fear there could be those who will be determined to make the mud stick. The only thing I can find of substance in relation to this is that Tim has an intern provided by CARE, a Christian organisation I wouldn’t personally have much time for as a liberal, but this is hardly evidence of rampant homophobia!

  • Town councils are of increasing importance given the rate at which the tiers above them are being merged as unitary authorities. Kendalians are more likely to resonate with Kendal Town Council than some artificial behemoth of a UA that the government might choose to create at some future date, and whose offices could be as far away as Barrow or Carlisle.

  • Paul – gravitas and Ed Davey were not used in the same sentence. however, Ed has a lot more of it than Tim Farron!

  • Duncan Crowe 28th May '10 - 2:34pm

    @Tim – To quote Alix “Well, that’s my sole objection to Tim removed”.

  • Dave Haynes 31st May '10 - 1:16am

    Tim is a fantastic guy, he has worked so hard for my area and for the party, liberals should be proud to have tim in this role. i wish you all the luck in the world.

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