Election 2015

Election 2015: Leadership bid would be 'foolish', says Tim Farron

Tim Farron Image copyright Getty Images

It would be "foolish and disloyal" to consider a post-election leadership bid, Lib Dem MP Tim Farron has said.

The former Liberal Democrats president said he did not have the energy to "give any head space" to what happens after the general election.

Mr Farron was criticised by party grandee Lord Ashdown after saying the Lib Dems had been "tarnished" by entering a coalition with the Tories.

But Mr Farron said he was focused "entirely" on the election.

'Hard election'

At the Lib Dem conference last month, Mr Farron - seen by some as a frontrunner to succeed Nick Clegg - was quoted in the Mail on Sunday suggesting the party's brand would be tainted for a generation by governing with the Conservatives.

That prompted Lord Ashdown to say Mr Farron lacked judgement and needed to show "a little more patience".

But Mr Farron told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "My focus is entirely on making sure myself and my colleagues up and down the country win as many seats as possible because that's what matters for Britain."

Asked if he would stand to replace Mr Clegg if he was no longer leader, Mr Farron replied: "The election we're facing in 32 days' time is the biggest one for this country for many years - the hardest and toughest one for the Liberal Democrats in a generation.

"If I give any head space whatsoever to what happens afterwards then that is foolish and disloyal and I haven't got the energy for that."

Mr Clegg heaped praise on Mr Farron last week as he distanced himself from "bickering" by other senior colleagues and urged an end to the criticisms.

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