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Cable stresses experience as he announces he will stand for the Lib Dem leadership

"With 20 years on the national political stage I am passionate as ever about our liberal values"

By Prospect Team  

Vince Cable will run for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats. Photo: PA

Vince Cable has confirmed that he will run for the Liberal Democrat party leadership. The former business secretary made the announcement on Lib Dem voice, saying that he has the “energy, enthusiasm and experience” to lead the party in a statement that made a virtue of his age and history within the party:

“With 20 years on the national political stage I am passionate as ever about our liberal values. I am ready to commit my energy, enthusiasm and experience to the task of leading the Liberal Democrats through what will be a period of chronic uncertainty. With the prospect of another election looming large, we must be ready for the fight.”

Cable’s announcement follows the news that Jo Swinson, tipped by many as a potential leader, will not be seeking election. If elected, Swinson would have been the party’s first female leader—a fact she referenced in her statement announcing that she would not stand:

“Feminist that I am, I have of course wondered what a bloke in my position would do. It’s obvious. Most blokes in my shoes would run for leader like a shot.

“It’s true that my many years of encouraging women to have the confidence to go for that exciting new role have taught me that women often don’t go for things when they should. But just as often I have observed men going for the promotion when they shouldn’t. Just because a man would do it, doesn’t make it the right thing to do.”

Cable, who is the MP for Twickenham, previously held the post of acting leader after the resignation of Menzies Campbell.

In an interview in March, Cable told Prospect’s Alex Dean that Tim Farron’s lack of experience was an issue. He also defended the Liberal Democrats’ record in coalition, adding that “liberal forces” still existed despite the worrying rise of right-wing populism.

Read the full interview with Vince Cable here.

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