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  1. ITV Report

Tim Farron won't run for Lib Dem Leadership

The General Election dealt a blow for the Liberal Democrats: while Tim Farron held onto his seat and doubled his small majority, he is now one of only 11 Liberal Democrat MPs in the country.

The party's Leader, Jo Swinson, lost her seat to the SNP onslaught in Scotland and stepped down with immediate effect, meaning the party is now searching for a new leader.

But Tim Farron says that man will not be him.

"No I've been leader once and been there done that. There are many advantages to being a former leader one of which is that I get to sit on the fence in a leadership election. I will vote but the one thing I can unequivocally tell you: Tim Farron will not be the next Leader of the Liberal Democrats."

– Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Lib Dem)
Tim Farron MP was speaking with ITV Border's South Cumbria Reporter Fiona Marley Paterson Credit: ITV News Border

Tim Farron disagreed with his party's stance on Brexit: that a majority Lib Dem Government would revoke Article 50 and stop Brexit.

"There's no point in pretending that this wasn't disappointing for us across the country and utterly crushing to lose Jo Swinson in the mix. I think simply saying we'd revoke Article 50 was something I thought was unwise and I think it made us look - even though we were not extreme - it made us look unreasonable."

– Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Lib Dem)

But with a Conservative majority Government now set to implement Boris Johnson's deal and take the UK out of the European Union, Tim says the party will need to reconsider how it fights to stop Brexit.

"We are in a different world now: unless something utterly bizarre happens the UK leaves the European Union on 31st January, at which point the question is what the relationship with Europe and the rest of the world is. The last thing I want is for us to drop out of the transition period in a year's time and leaving Europe without a deal. I will vote against Mr Johnson's deal for two key reasons: it is effectively a delayed no deal until next December and I fear it is playing right into the hands of the nationalists in Northern Ireland and Scotland and I do not want to lose Scotland and Northern Ireland from the Union."

– Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Lib Dem)