Vince Cable: Lib Dems could change name in push for new centrist movement

Posted On: 
14th September 2018

The Liberal Democrats could change their name in a bid to win opponents over to form a new political movement, Sir Vince Cable has said.

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable is attempting to reform the party
Credit: 
PA Images

The party leader said he was against the idea - but admitted he had an “open mind” to re-branding the movement the New Liberal Democrats.

Rumours have been swirling around Westminster that a new centrist party could form to cut through the two extremes of the current Labour and Conservative parties.

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Sir Vince is pushing for Lib Dem rule changes to allow non-members to vote in leadership elections and to allow non-MPs to bid for the top job in the hope of attracting new blood to the party.

On a potential name change, Sir Vince told the Telegraph: “British politics is very tribal. There still a lot of tribal loyalty and people find it difficult to move in the British system.

“Changing names is a superficial thing – maybe because I am not a marketing person I don’t understand the importance of it.

“This new enlarged movement that we are creating – if the membership of it wants to change its name, it can change its name, I am not pushing for that.”

And he added: “In two words we capture the group of values - we are liberal people, a lot of us are social democrat as well.

“If someone wants to stick ‘new’ on the front – I have an open mind on it.”

Elsewhere, Sir Vince said he has held informal talks with six Tory MPs and 12 Labour MPs about creating a new centre-left party.