Brian Paddick has quit as Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman citing “concerns” about Tim Farron’s views on “various issues”.
Lord Paddick, the former senior Metropolitan Police officer and Lib Dem London mayoral candidate, announced the move this afternoon on Twitter.
Lord Paddick’s decision to quit will come as a blow to Farron in the wake of the general election.
A spokesperson for the party said: “We thank Brian for his service.”
Lord Paddick did not expand on what “views” Farron held that he was unhappy with.
However the Lib Dem leader came under intense pressure during the start of the election campaign after he refused to say whether the thought gay sex was a sin or not. Farron eventually clarified that he did not.
The Lib Dems increased their number of MPs at the election from 9 to 12 and saw the return of veterans Vince Cable, Jo Swinson and Ed Davey. However former leader Nick Clegg lost his seat.
The front bench resignation came soon after the party announced it would be holding elections for a deputy leader.
“In the last parliament we didn’t have any women in our parliamentary party and we didn’t feel it was right to elect a deputy in those circumstances,” Farron said.
“Now a third of our parliamentary party is female and we have our most diverse group of MPs ever, I feel our MPs form a more representative group to elect a deputy leader.
“There is still much more work needed to make ourselves more like the nation we seek to represent, but this is a really positive time for our party after increasing our number of MPs by 50%.”
Although the Lib Dems increased their number of MPs, many had expected the pro-EU party to do better by harnesses the anger of Remain voters.