'Black moment'Ms Teather told the Observer she was stepping down because "she no longer feels that Nick Clegg's party fights sufficiently for social justice and liberal values on immigration".
It quoted her as saying that Mr Clegg's tougher approach to immigration - including a plan for some immigrants to pay a £1,000 deposit when applying for visas - left her feeling "desolate" and "catastrophically depressed".
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Sarah TeatherI have disagreed with both government and official party lines on a whole range of welfare and immigration policies, and those differences have been getting larger rather than smaller”
"It was an absolutely black moment. I couldn't even move from my seat when I read it. I was so depressed I couldn't even be angry. I was utterly desolate," she is quoted as saying.She also pointed to her party's decision to back the Tories' planned cap on welfare, while she was in government.
"It was the moment of realising that my own party was just as afraid of public opinion as the Labour Party. Something did break for me that was never, ever repaired," she said.
In the statement on her website, she said: "For various reasons, to do with some aspects of government policy and the very particular issues that brought me to politics in the first place, I now feel that come the next general election, it will be the right time for me to step aside."