Mon, 27 March 2023

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Former minister Vince Cable announces Liberal Democrat leadership bid

Former minister Vince Cable announces Liberal Democrat leadership bid

John Ashmore

2 min read

Vince Cable has announced he will run to succeed Tim Farron as leader of the Liberal Democrats.

The former Business Secretary is one of the party’s best known faces, having served in Cabinet for five years during the coalition government.

He said he was ready to lead the party through a period of “chronic uncertainty” ahead.

Other MPs who may yet throw their hat in the ring include former Energy Secretary Ed Davey and Norman Lamb, the ex-Health minister who unsuccessfully challenged Mr Farron for the leadership in 2015.

Many observers had expected Jo Swinson to enter the race, but she has already declared she does not want the top job.

Instead the East Dunbartonshire MP has said she will run for the deputy leadership of party – a position she will be a strong favourite to secure.

The leadership contest was triggered after Mr Farron’s surprise post-election resignation, in which he said he could not reconcile his Christian beliefs with leading the party.

He had come under repeated scrutiny during the general election campaign over his views on abortion and homosexuality.

At 74 years old, Dr Cable would be the oldest major party leader in Westminster, and ten years older than Sir Menzies Campbell was when he took the reins back in 2007.

He served as MP for the south-west London seat of Twickenham between 1997 and 2015, before losing his seat to the Conservatives.

He returned to Parliament at the snap election, however, with a convincing victory over Tory rival Tania Mathias.

In a statement this morning Dr Cable said: "With 20 years on the national political stage I am passionate as ever about our liberal values.

"I am ready to commit my energy, enthusiasm and experience to the task of leading the Liberal Democrats through what will be a period of chronic uncertainty.

"With the prospect of another election looming large, we must be ready for the fight."

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