Tim Farron: New Liberal Democrat leader refuses to say whether he thinks homosexual sex is a sin

Tim Farron, the new Liberal Democrat leader, refused to say whether he believed gay sex was a sin during a live television interview.

Farron was asked three times by Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman whether he personally believed, as a Christian, homosexual sex was a sin.

He repeatedly avoided answering the question.

He was speaking to the broadcaster just a day after he defeated Norman Lamb in the race to succeed Nick Clegg, who resigned in the wake of the party's humiliating wipeout in May's general election.

Farron has been criticised in the past for abstaining on votes on same-sex marriage.

As he was pressed to answer the question, Farron replied: "To understand Christianity is to understand that we are all sinners."

He added: “Perhaps the Bible phrase that I use most - particularly with my kids, but actually on myself – is ‘You don’t pick out the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye when there is a plank in your own.’”