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Why Stephen Gilbert MP is backing Tim Farron for Party President

Tim Farron

Stephen Gilbert, Lib Dem MP for St Austell & Newquay, is backing Tim Farron to be the next President of the Liberal Democrat party after Baroness Ros Scott stands down at the end of the year.

Tim's Position on LGBT Rights

One or two friends have expressed a little concern at Tim Farron's views on LGBT issues - I am a huge supporter of Tim's and know that he is absolutely sound on gay rights, but I thought I'd give him the chance to put the record straight.

Here's Tim's response - it certainly satisfies me, and I'm extremely proud to back him as our next President:

I am a passionate supporter of equal LGBT rights. But if you look at 'they work for you', I'm classed a s being 'opposed to equal gay rights' because of 2 of my votes on the Equalities bill. This is complete rubbish. I have complained to 'they work for you' about this.

The reality is that my votes on those two amendments were due to me taking what I considered to be a heavily liberal line on freedom of organisation and choice. You might not agree with my take on this, and Stonewall didn't, but Peter Tatchell and Outrage did.

I'm happy to argue whether or not I did the right thing, but please don't think that I'm some kind of homophobe!

Anyone who's known me over the 24 years that I've been a Liberal and a Liberal Democrat knows that this is the most outrageous rubbish.

Long before there was any public majority for LGBT rights I fought for the equalisation of the age of consent and for civil partnerships & the right to marry.

I am a radical liberal to my fingertips - and my anger at inequality caused by poverty and my anger at inequality caused by homophobia come from the same place.

But if anyone still thinks I'm 'a bit of a worry' I'd love them to come and talk to me.