Vince Cable set to become Lib Dem leader as last remaining rival quits
Vince Cable is on the verge of becoming leader of the Liberal Democrats after former energy secretary Ed Davey ruled himself out of the running.
The Kingston and Surbiton MP, who returned to parliament this month after he lost his seat in 2015, was seen as the last challenger to the former business secretary.
Jo Swinson and Norman Lamb announced last week they would not stand, with the former going on to become deputy leader instead.
In a moving statement given to Liberal Democrat Voice, Mr Davey said the prospect of prolonged periods away from his wife and children was the main reason behind his decision.
He said: “My decision not to stand now to be leader of our party is a difficult one, but it is rooted in my family: the need to be there for my young children and not continually away from home; the need to protect my family from the inevitable intrusion on our lives; and the need to protect myself from pressures that would otherwise compromise my job as a father while they are still so young.”
Mr Davey said it had been a “difficult decision” not to run, but that he wanted to play a “big part” in the party.
Mr Cable paid tribute to his colleague on Twitter:
Elsewhere in his statement, Mr Davey said the next leader must make it clear what the Lib Dems stand for and ensure the party is “fit-for-purpose”.
“We must also be super-ambitious – just like radical centrists in Canada, France and The Netherlands. If they can win from third place – or from ‘no place’ like Macron – why can’t we?,” he added.