9 things you didn’t know about new Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

The new Lib Dem leader isn’t too well-known outside Westminster. Here are nine of the most interesting facts about the MP.

1. He’s a rebel

The new leader has frequently rebelled against his party on votes, including the tuition fee rise (against), the legalisation of gay marriage (abstained from and later regretted not voting for), the bedroom tax (against) and the introduction of secret courts (against).

2. His majority at the last General Election was 52%

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP was the only Lib Dem to retain his seat with a majority more than 50% - an increase from a majority of less than 300 to nearly 9,000 in the past 10 years.

3. He doesn’t eat meat

4. He used to be in a mildly successful band

At one point they were called “Fred the Girl”, at another “The Voyeurs”, and they managed to record some songs with Island Records.

5. It took him four goes of standing for parliament to be finally elected in 2005

6. His interests are wide ranging, from education to farming

Farron is the chair of the All-Party group on Hill Farming and has been on the Education and Skills Select Committee for a decade.

7. He’s a Christian

Unusually, he was baptised at the age of 21 and describes becoming a Christian at the age of 18 as “the most massive choice I have made”.

8. He was a union leader

At Newcastle University in the early 90s Farron was elected to the National Union of Students’ national executive after becoming president of Newcastle University Union Society.

9. He gave the party 2/10 for its coalition performance

Farron scored his own party two out of 10, leading senior party leaders (who have now lost their seats) to publically criticise him.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • A perfect liberal then - confusing and hard to know what they really stand for.

    How can you be a liberal and not support gay rights including marriage, without even having to think about it?

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