Sir Vince Cable has today been unveiled as the new leader of the UK Liberal Democrats after no other candidate put themselves forward to take over the party following the resignation of Tim Farron.
Cable, 74, who served as the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2010-2015 during the coalition government with the Conservatives, has a widely-appreciated reputation for taking sense on economics and recently re-won his Twickenham MP seat which he had represented from 1997 until 2010.
Confirming his appointment, the LibDems President Sal Brinton said the new leader inherits a party that is in excellent health, praising the development of the party under the leadership of Tim Farron: “Under the fantastic stewardship of Tim Farron our membership is at an all-time high and not only do we have our most diverse group of MPs but we have grown by 50% in the last election. With the significant challenges that our country faces the need for the Liberal Democrats is bigger than ever and the election of Vince marks a new point.”
Dr Cable has pledged to offer an “exit from Brexit” continuing the party’s policy for a referendum on the outcome of the EU withdrawal negotiations. “What we now need is an exit from Brexit,” he said. “The exit from Brexit comes as a result of the policy that we have adopted, which is that we must consult the British public at the end of the process. Voters should be asked, ‘Do you wish to accept what is coming down the track, jumping off the cliff and hoping there’s a tree to catch you, or do we want to stay within the European Union?’.”
Privileged to be able to take over from @timfarron today. Ambitious for our country, ambitious for our party.— Vince Cable (@vincecable) July 20, 2017
He also commented that British politics was “more polarised and divided than at any time any of us can remember” and said there was a void in the centre of British politics. “My aim is that my party will occupy that space in British politics," he added.
Meet Vince Cable, the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats and find out more about what motivates him: https://t.co/tOnP8hbap2— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) August 1, 2017
With reference to Conservative leader Theresa May’s frequently-repeated slogan during the recent snap election campaign, outgoing leader Tim Farron said his successor would provide “strong and Cable leadership.”
You can read Vince Cable’s leadership manifesto here.
Upon her election earlier this month she said: "I am very proud to have been elected by a newly energised and strengthened parliamentary party. The government has no majority and no mandate for its extreme version of Brexit, which would do such damage to the health of our economy and the fabric of our society. In this balanced parliament, the Liberal Democrats will be a powerful influence and a strong voice for people who want to see an open, welcoming and tolerant United Kingdom."
The LibDems now number 12 MPs in Westminster following the recent snap election which saw the party regain seats and the Conservative government of Theresa May lose her overall majority.