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  1. ITV Report

Farron pulls out of Christian conference over attack on 'gay lobby'

Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has pulled out of a church-organised conference after promotional material for the event attacked the "onslaught of the gay lobby".

Mr Farron had been listed as one of the speakers for the Northern Men's Convention being held in Manchester on Saturday.

However he announced that he was dropping out after learning of the publicity material, saying he was "deeply concerned and saddened" by what he had seen.

A statement on the convention's website highlighted what it said were the increasing "assaults on orthodox Christian teaching and morality, especially in the area of sexuality".

It said those who "stood firm in the Anglican tradition" at the General Synod had been "ridiculed and vilified" and that many churches appeared to be "wavering under the onslaught of the gay lobby".

In a statement on his Twitter feed, Mr Farron said he had been unaware of such material when he agreed to speak at the event.

I agreed many months ago to attend a church-organised event but just today I've seen promotional material for it which contains things I'm deeply concerned and saddened by," he said.

"As a result, I have withdrawn from the event."

– Tim Farron

Mr Farron came under pressure over his traditionalist Christian views during last year's general election after he initially refused to say whether he considered gay sex to be a sin.

Following the election he announced he was standing down as Lib Dem leader saying he had been "torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader".

There was no immediate comment from the Northern Men's Convention on his decision to withdraw.