Vince Cable crowned Liberal Democrat leader after standing unopposed

Helen Cahill
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Vince Cable Is Announced As The New Leader of The Liberal Democrat Party
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Vince Cable has been crowned Liberal Democrat leader after standing for the position unopposed.

The veteran politician returned to parliament in the General Election after winning back his Twickenham seat.

Read more: General Election 2017: Vince Cable back in Twickenham

In a statement, Cable said:

We have a government that can’t govern and an opposition that can’t oppose. Labour and the Conservatives have formed a grand coalition of chaos, driving through a hard Brexit which would deliver a massive blow to living standards.

Both parties have abandoned mainstream economics. I want to put economics back centre stage.

At 74, Cable is the senior statesman among the party's MPs. He has previously served as Lib Dem deputy leader and interim leader while members selected Nick Clegg in 2007.

He takes over the leadership after Tim Farron stood down following a muted General Election campaign where the party increased its number of MPs from nine to 12, after the severe depletion from the 2015 election, but still saw its vote share drop to 7.4 per cent.

Cable also takes the helm after bookies' favourite and former minister Jo Swinson ruled herself out of the running for the party leadership, favouring a run at deputy leader instead.

“I want the Liberal Democrats to speak for business,” Cable told City A.M. on Thursday night. “Who else will?”

So far, Cable has been vocal regarding his party's position on Brexit, saying it shouldn't go ahead at all.

Last month, the former business secretary positioned his party as a pro-EU option that people will turn to "when the penny drops" on Brexit.

Speaking on Peston on Sunday, Cable said: "Young people who might have come to us and shared our views about Europe [voted for Labour instead]."

He added: "They believed wrongly, as it happens, that the party was committed to opposing the government’s hard Brexit. When the penny drops, there will be a lot of disillusion."

And earlier this month, the Lib Dem leader said he was beginning to think "Brexit may never happen", with divisions between the two major parties.

Read more: Will Brexit ever happen? Vince Cable doesn't think so

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