Tim Farron mocked for asking a campaigner to 'smell my spaniel'

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has caused a stir on social media after inviting a voter at a campaign event to "smell my spaniel".

Mr Farron's bizarre comment was made to an activist who came to watch the party leader speak in Cambridge on Thursday.

Video footage showed Mr Farron approaching the dog, which was wearing a yellow Liberal Democrat rosette, before saying: "Smell my spaniel".

A man holds a dog during Tim Farron's campaign visit to Cambridge. Credit: PA

Mr Farron owns a black and white springer spaniel called Jasper, and often posts pictures on social media of the two of them together.

It appears Mr Farron may have been suggesting that the campaigner's dog could smell Jasper's scent on his clothes.

One of Mr Farron's aides suggested that Jasper could be unleashed later in the campaign as a "secret weapon".

"We are finding Tim is going down very well in this election with canines and canine owners", one of his aides said.

"Jasper is up in the constituency at the moment, no doubt undertaking his Liberal Democrat delivery round with his usual diligence.

"We don't rule out, however, that he could be unleashed at some point nationally during the campaign as one of our secret election weapons.

"Jasper believes passionately that Britain should remain open, tolerant and united."