Vince Cable 'will step aside in three years for Jo Swinson'
Sir Vince Cable has reportedly agreed a deal to step down as Liberal Democrat leader in two or three years' time to let Jo Swinson take over, if he wins the upcoming leadership contest.
The former Business Secretary is the first MP to put his hat in the ring to succeed Tim Farron, who resigned last week after saying he could not reconcile his Christian beliefs with being party leader.
But the Daily Telegraph reports that Sir Vince and East Dunbartonshire MP Ms Swinson have already arranged a handover at the top in a few years' time.
It comes after she issued a surprise statement on the weekend saying she would not run for the leadership this time, since when she has been elected unopposed as deputy leader.
A party source told the paper: "Vince has the most experience and is what the party needs in the next couple of years. Everyone thinks that. But the future is Jo Swinson.”
Sir Vince denied any deal had been agreed, but admitted he could step down in a few years' time in place of the Scot.
“There is no deal, she is doing it for her own reasons in her own time. She wants to be deputy leader for her own personal reasons – she is not part of an explicit ticket," he said.
“It is a simple fact of life if I decided in three years’ time to let someone else take over she is ideally placed to do it.”
He faces a possible challenge for the top job from fellow former coalition ministers Sir Ed Davey and Norman Lamb.
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