Carmichael rules himself out as leader after Farron’s resignation

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.”


Add Your Comment
  • John Tulloch

    • June 15th, 2017 8:56

    “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

  • Stuart Hannay

    • June 15th, 2017 14:28

    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.


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.