AN MP has come under fire over the conduct of one of the directors of an organisation which he helped to set up.

According to a national news website, David Landrum, a director of Faith in Public, which was set up by Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron in 2018, tweeted a link to an opinion article on proposals to ban gay conversion therapy in July 2018. The author of this article had written that many people ‘would prefer not to have homosexual feelings. Why should they not be entitled to seek escape?...Why should others not be free to try to help them?’

The news outlet also claimed Mr Landrum said shaving company Gillette lost his custom after releasing an advert in which a father taught his transgender son to shave.

Mr Farron has received criticism in some quarters over the director’s conduct, with the Lancaster University Liberal Democrats describing Mr Landrum’s apparent views as ‘abhorrent’ on Twitter and demanding Mr Farron renounce them ‘publicly and quickly’.

However, others defended the MP, with Eamonn Hennessy, Liberal Democrat district councillor for the Kendal East ward, tweeting: “These types of smear stories resurface all too frequently and one should question the motivation and timing.”

The national news website also claimed the MP had received £75,000 in donations from Faith in Public.

However, a Liberal Democrat spokesman denied this, saying the money was in-fact ‘raised by Tim to support members of staff who support the work of Faith in Public’.

Mr Farron said: “Faith in Public is an organisation I set up to promote work I do on issues like homelessness, refugees and faith in politics.

“Since Faith in Public was specifically set up to support my work, the only views that it puts forwards are mine - and to clarify, I am strongly opposed to so called gay conversion therapy and I will vote to ban it when the legislation comes to Parliament.”

A Liberal Democrat spokesman said Faith in Public had three unpaid directors who acted as trustees. The spokesman said the directors did not all ‘share Tim’s political views’ and that only one was a member of the Liberal Democrats.