Wednesday, February 21

Sir Vince Cable resigns as leader



The Liberal Democrats have announced they are opening nominations for a leadership contest to replace Sir Vince Cable.

Sir Vince previously said he would be stepping down after the local and EU Parliament elections, but did not name a date.

On Friday, a day after the election but before the results had been announced, he said that he had decided to step aside following the party’s “best ever council election results and a surge of support for the European elections.

Nominations will close on June 7, the same day Theresa May announced she would be stepping down as Tory leader.

The party said it hoped to conclude the contest and announce the new Liberal Democrats leader on 23 July.

In a statement Sir Vince said: Last night, the British people finished voting in the European elections. The fallout is there for all to see, with the Prime Minister finally conceding this morning that she has reached the end of the road.

Our campaigning over the last three years has kept the cause of remaining in the European Union alive, and I now believe we have a strong chance of stopping Brexit. When the votes are counted on Sunday, I expect us to do well.

The veteran politician, who became the oldest leader of a political party since Winston Churchill when he took over in 2017, urged his party to continue the battle to stop Brexit.

The list of candidates for the Lib Dems has been narrowed down after various people ruled themselves out.

Layla Moran had been one of the favourites to succeed Sir Vince but recently ruled out running for leader after a story emerged about her slapping her former partner during an argument six years ago.

After Sir Vince announced his resignation earlier in the year, Ms Swinson tweeted: It has been an honour to work with Vince for a more open, liberal & tolerant Britain. He has helped LibDems through challenges of last two years & led us to some of our best local election results in a decade – and I’m confident we’ll celebrate another strong set of wins in May.

Ed Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton, is another potential candidate. He served as energy secretary for three years in the coalition government and was a suggested successor to then leader Nick Clegg in 2015.