Lib Dem big beasts urged to challenge Tim Farron on leadership

Posted On: 
10th June 2017

Party favourites like Vince Cable are being called on to take the mantle and lead the Liberal Democrats after they failed to turn anti-Brexit sentiment into seats.

Vince Cable is being tipped for Lib Dem leadership.
PA images

Jo Swinson, who regained the East Dunbartonshire seat she lost in 2015, is also being touted as a future leader.

Behind the scenes, members of the party believe Tim Farron lacks “the vision and drive” to lead the party to serious electoral success.

Sir Menzies Campbell, the former leader, tipped Sir Vince as a suitable successor to Mr Farron. He said the former business secretary had an "understanding of leadership responsibilities" and was a "genuinely heavy-hitter".

The loss of the former business secretary at the 2015 election was a major blow to the Lib Dems. He had been a well-respected figure beyond the party and in Westminster.

On Friday senior Lib Dem figures were privately saying that the party needed to energise itself in order to make an ambitious play for the vast numbers of "voiceless" voters in the country.

The Lib Dems were enjoying a boost in membership numbers prior to the snap election, with a further 12,500 joining after Theresa May fired the starting gun.

Mr Farron's allies dismissed talk of a leadership contest, pointing out that he was the party's first leader since Charles Kennedy in 2005 to make a net gain of seats at a general election.