Vince Cable sets out his vision for the country and the party and listed below are some of his career highlights during his time in government.

My vision as leader of the Liberal Democrats

I am ready to commit
my energy, enthusiasm
and experience to the task of
leading the
Liberal Democrats.

I am ambitious for our country, and I am ambitious for our party. I want the Liberal Democrats to represent the many millions of people who share our values but currently feel disenfranchised: alienated by the rise of extremism, left and right, and by the growing sense of malaise and division in the country.

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.

Brexit negotiations have begun. The government is split and weakened. Labour is equivocal over Europe. The Liberal Democrats alone have a consistent and principled, outward-looking, approach to the issue. We must fight for the British public to have a final say on the government’s deal – and to have the option to choose to stay in the EU if they think the deal is not good enough. To achieve this, we will need to work with like-minded people in other parties.

As a socially progressive party we must build on our good policies in support of public services. The NHS, especially mental health, social care and schools are now under severe financial pressure. Our campaigning on issues such as these, and other topics such as climate change and air pollution, must take place at both national and community levels, building on the long tradition which created the party’s local government base.

With a clear voice and a clear message on these issues, we can rebuild our vote share and representation nationally, in local government, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh and London assemblies.

I have the experience needed to raise our profile. As Shadow Chancellor, I secured a hard-won hearing for the party on the economy, warning of the 2008 financial crisis which has been such a source of economic weakness, inequality and political anger ever since.


As Secretary of State for Business for five years I created a distinctive Liberal Democrat vision for the economy, with a long-term industrial strategy, promotion of science and innovation, banking reform, the creation of the world’s first-ever Green Investment Bank, support for young people through apprenticeships and the promotion of socially responsible capitalism. With the economy approaching the Brexit iceberg, Liberal Democrats need more than ever to warn of the dangers ahead and the need for a new course.

Great opportunities lie ahead. The Conservatives are in disarray and in retreat. The Labour Party outperformed expectations but its economic policy based on fistfuls of free offers lacks economic credibility and will be found out. There is an open space in British politics which I am determined that we should occupy.

This leadership election is taking place with the largest membership in our party’s history. We should be ambitious about increasing our numbers still further and, in particular, both attracting young people to our cause and fully involving new members in the party.

I welcome the more diverse party and parliamentary party we now have and will give priority to promoting diversity, an issue I championed as a minister, with some success, in business leadership.

The party has survived five difficult years of coalition government and the disadvantages of the current unreformed voting system. We are now growing again and the political winds are moving in our favour. As your leader, I would offer the energy, dedication and experience to help – with you – make our party a credible contender for power.

Achievements in government

Funded new programmes
for the mentally ill
in Adult Colleges
like RACC.

Industrial Strategy: strong support for key British industries like cars, aerospace and pharmaceuticals as well as creative industries and professional services.


Properly funding science and innovation leading to substantial expansion at NPL and other local research centres.

Set up two new state banks to support small business (the British Business Bank) and ‘green’ investments (the Green Investment Bank, now being sold).

Re-launched apprenticeships leading to big expansion and especially higher apprenticeships.

Saved and modernised Post Office Network (no local closures since 2010).

Funded new programmes for the mentally ill in Adult Colleges like RACC.

Funding for Further Education capital (Tertiary College now being rebuilt and redeveloped).

Oversaw bank reform including ‘ringfencing’ and splitting the big banks.

Legislation to protect pubs from pubcos and small suppliers from supermarket bullying.

Tighter controls on executive pay awards.

Shared parental leave.

Lots more women on boards, at top of companies (very much my personal crusade).

Putting universities on good financial footing –leading to expansion at St Mary’s.

Achievements as MP

Successful campaign to
extend breast cancer
screening and improve
cervical and bowel
cancer screening.

Led fight for local hospitals including saving and rebuilding the West Mddx; saving Teddington Memorial Hospital; and fighting threatened closures at Kingston.


Championed local schools and the Tertiary College: securing capital funding and blocking damaging funding formula in government (now being introduced by Tories).

Set up and chaired All-party Police Group.

Active campaigner on aircraft noise, night flights and airport expansion from Terminal 5 to today.

Successful campaign for longer trains and reopening Eurostar terminal (work now underway) and modernisation of Whitton Station.

Successful campaign to get Mogden covered, reducing noxious smells.

Successful campaign to extend breast cancer screening and improve cervical and bowel cancer screening.

Successful campaign to reduce overcrowding at Feltham Young Offenders.

Campaigns and debates on: houseboat residents; Alzheimers' drugs, diabetic pens, hearing aids, children's hospices; mobile phone masts.