Sir Vince Cable Becomes Oldest Leader In Liberal Democrat History
Sir Vince Cable is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats after he made an unchallenged bid for the leadership, becoming the oldest leader in the party's near 30-year history
When nominations closed at 4pm on Thursday, the 74-year old Twickenham MP was the only candidate on the ballot paper.
The contest was triggered after Tim Farron stepped down from the role, following a general election that saw the party increase it's number of MPs from nine to 12, but its vote share fall to 7.4%.
Speaking following his announcement as leader, he promised to give a voters an 'exit from Brexit' by continuing the Lib Dem's main campaign pledge of offering a second referendum on Britain's exit from the European Union.
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He said that as the public became more aware of the difficulties of Brexit, Mr Farron's policy would be 'absolutely vindicated'.
He added: "I'm ambitious for this country and I'm ambitious for this party. In difficult times, we have shown enormous resilience but I believe we can fight our way back, break through and make an enormous success of our party and eventually, in government."
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Sir Vince also called for a coalition of pro-EU MPs to support Philip Hammond's bid for a 'soft' Brexit.
Following Nick Clegg losing his seat at the last election, Cable became the most high-profile serving Liberal Democrat MP, having held the position of Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in the 2010-15 coalition government.
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He was elected unopposed after other potential candidates, including Jo Swinson, Norman Lamb and Sir Ed Davey, did not put themselves forward.
The 74-year-old reclaimed the Twickenham constituency this year, winning a 52.8% share of the vote, having lost the seat at the 2015 general election.
He will be the oldest leader of the party singe it was formed in 1988 as a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
His election as leader follows the trend of the major political parties electing older leaders to the left of their predecessors, with Jeremy Corbyn becoming Labour Leader in 2015 and Theresa May Conservative leader in 2016.
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