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Tim Farron refuses to say whether he really thinks gay sex is not a sin

The former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has refused to say whether or not he genuinely believes gay sex isn't a sin.

In his first television interview since resigning from his post in June, Mr Farron told ITV he had "felt under enormous pressure" to move the debate on from his religious views when he finally said during the election campaign that he did not think such acts were sinful.

But asked whether he genuinely believed his announcement at the time, the MP repeatedly avoided the question.

In his resignation statement, Mr Farron said he was torn between living as a faithful Christian and leading a political party.

The Lib Dem election campaign was blighted by constant questions about his religious beliefs, and whether they contradicted his liberal politics.

Speaking from his parliamentary office, Mr Farron told ITV he had proved his commitment to LGBT equality by fighting all his career for equal rights. But he said it was equally important to protect religious freedoms, arguing "that's where liberalism has got a bit lost in the last few years".

He insisted that not everyone had to live and think the same, arguing "that's not diverse, there's something slightly creepy about that".

  • The full interview will be aired on ITV's 'Around the House' in the Tyne Tees and Border regions on Thursday at 10.40pm