22nd April 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Carmichael rules himself out as leader after Farron’s resignation

2 comments, , by , in Headlines, News

Alistair Carmichael has ruled himself out as leader of the Liberal Democrats following the decision by Tim Farron to stand down.

Mr Farron resigned today claiming it was impossible for him to still be party leader while remaining loyal to his Christian faith.

During the general election campaign Mr Farron was repeatedly questioned by national journalists about his faith and his views on whether gay sex was a sin. Mr Farron had also faced questions over his views on abortion.

Lib Dem MPs so far touted to take over from Mr Farron are North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson and former interim leader Vince Cable, who was re-elected to his old Twickenham seat in the election.

Mr Carmichael said he had no intention of throwing his hat in the ring.

“With a still young family, and living in the Northern Isles, it requires more juggling and more sacrifice than I would be prepared to do.”

He added he was not “massively surprised” that Mr Farron had decided to stand down.

“I know this has been a problem for Tim, but I’m surprised it has come as quickly as it has,” he said.

“It’s typical of the man that he has, in a difficult situation, put the party first.”

He added it was clear Mr Farron had concluded that the leadership was not something that he could carry out.

“Rather than stick in and struggle with it he’s decided to stand down, which will not have been an easy thing to do.

“If he’s not comfortable doing the job I think it was the right decision.”

Asked if he thought Mr Farron was hounded by the national press over his beliefs, Mr Carmichael said: “I think he was. Nobody else was faced with these questions with that frequency.

“As he said himself during the campaign, it’s not as if he was standing for pope. Nor was there anything in his voting or campaigning record which suggested he was prejudiced against members of the LGBT community.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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2 comments

  1. John Tulloch

    “He (Mr Carmichael) added it was clear Mr Farron had concluded that the leadership was not something that he could carry out.” I wholeheartedly agree, he was a complete dud and I’m not at all surprised by his early departure.

    Farron had to step down because of the abject failure of his anti-Brexit policy – EU champion Nick Clegg lost his seat! – and because of his abysmal performances in the tv debate and especially, the Andrew Neil Interview.

    Following the Andrew Neil disaster he had to go. It was a shocking performance that was deeply damaging to the LDs.

    I’m sure the lessons from putting cynical vote-gathering ahead of the good of the country will not be lost on the LibDems

    Reply
  2. Stuart Hannay

    Fair play to Mr Carmichael although I didn’t vote for him myself. I’m a bit concerned that the Liberal Democrats must have spent a small fortune on election literature in Shetland over the past couple of years. Still, we have lots of pictures of Tavish and Alistair in hi-vis jackets to treasure, as well as that cute little ‘handwritten’ love letter.

    Reply

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