It’s not Tim Farron who is illiberal: it’s society

May 22, 2017 by

by Isabel Hardman, Spectator:

What a miserable election campaign Tim Farron is having. The Liberal Democrat leader wants to use broadcast interviews to talk about Brexit and his party’s pitch to disgruntled Remainers. Instead, he finds himself stuck in an episode of the Moral Maze, endlessly cross-examined about his beliefs on issues such as gay sex and abortion.

Today, Farron ended up having an extremely uncomfortable exchange with Sophy Ridge on Sky about whether he thought that women who had abortions were doing something wrong. Farron refused to indulge the question, insisting that he believed in a woman’s right to choose. He argued that all that mattered was what he did in terms of legislating, not his personal moral judgement:

‘Do you know what? The measure of a Liberal is someone who protects other people’s rights, no matter what your personal position is. I think that is fundamental.’

Ridge persisted with the questioning about Farron’s moral judgement, suggesting that in fact people did want to know whether a politician considered their decisions and lives to be morally wrong. Farron continued to resist.

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