Vince Cable says he will 'stand aside' as MP ahead of 2022 general election
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has ruled out standing to be an MP at the next planned general election in 2022.
Sir Vince, who is expected to step down as the party’s premier as early as next month, said that unless another snap election is called he will call it quits at the next poll.
Speaking on BBC 5Live's Pienaar’s Politics, the Twickenham MP said: “Well it depends when the General Election is, if there is an early general election I’ve made it very clear I would stand again.
“We won’t have a new leader until July so I will be leading the party in any event.
“But if we’re talking about a general election on the normal timetable, no I will be standing aside.”
The former coalition Cabinet minister, who has led the party since 2017, said his mission as leader has been to strengthen its position and insisted that “we’re now very much back in British politics”.
He continued: "I think my successor will inherit a stronger party with a very clear message, a very clear line on Europe, which is still going to be around for months to come."
Sir Vince added that he was optimistic that his party could make gains in the upcoming local elections on Thursday.
“We are making ground but it isn’t making ground rapidly or spectacularly, but we are making ground," he went on.
“I think what you’ll find in the local government elections on Thursday is the hard work that’s been put in, the stuff that I’ve been doing in the last two months going around towns and villages, promoting our local brand, is actually successful.”
He reiterated his regret that the Lib Dems and pro-EU party Change UK had not joined forces for the European elections next month.
He said: “The fact we have a fragmented offering obviously weakens the effectiveness of the Remain campaign in the European elections…
“But as I say, we’re not fighting them, we’re fighting the people who are arguing for Brexit. We’re fighting the Conservative party, Nigel Farage’s Brexit party and UKIP - that’s the opposition.
“We’ve got competition for Remain votes, we recognise the reality of that, we’d rather it didn’t happen but that’s a fact of life. But the people we’re fighting are the people giving an entirely opposite argument on Brexit.”