Last Wednesday, just a day after Tim Farron announced his resignation, I attempted to take a day off from politics. I had the day set aside for a visit to Beamish Museum. I was about to head out of the door when the phone rang. It was Richard Moss from BBC Look North wanting an interview with me about Tim's resignation. As a friend of Tim from his Newcastle University days, the BBC were after a more personal view of his decision to go. Richard offered to come to my house so I agreed to do the interview in my back garden at 4pm, effectively knocking an hour off my Beamish visit. When I got to the Museum, one of the first people I bumped into was a constituent (who volunteers at Beamish) who was keen to know my views on Tim's resignation!
Back home and Richard and the cameraman arrived. The interview went ahead. Though I was saddened for Tim personally, my view is that Tim was right to resign as his views on gay sex had become a distraction which he failed to close down as an issue. I also wanted to demolish the point that Tim himself is homophobic. I used the example of his invite to myself and David, my partner, back in 2004, to his wedding (there were other gay couples there as well). This hardly strikes me as the actions of a homophobe.
So thank you to Tim for his leadership over the past two years. Despite the sinful distraction, he ensured we were able to hold our own in the snap election. We now need a new leader who can help us stop the return to the awful prospect of two-party politics in which Labour and their Tory mates swap around with each other the occupancy of Whitehall and Downing Street.