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
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.