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EXC: Cable to make speech next month amid resignation leadership rumours

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Vince Cable
Sir Vince Cable.
REUTERS/Neil Hall

  • Exclusive: Sir Vince Cable will give a major speech on
    the future of the Liberal Democrats next month.
  • The speech is set to take place on Friday, September
    7.
  • Two well-placed sources suggested Cable will reveal his
    plan for an early resignation.
  • BI has also seen Whatsapp messages in which senior Lib
    Dem figures discuss Cable’s rumoured departure.
  • Sources close to Cable deny knowledge of resignation
    plans.
  • The party is considering implementing radical reforms
    which would let non-MPs stand to be leader non-members vote in
    leadership contests.

 

LONDON — Sir Vince Cable is set to give a major speech on Friday,
September 7, multiple sources have told Business Insider, amid
speculation that he planning an early resignation as leader of
the Liberal Democrats.

Senior sources have told BI that Lib Dem members will be invited
to a speech in the first week of September, one week before the
party’s autumn conference, in which Cable will make announcements
about reforms and the party’s future.

Two senior sources — a well-placed Lib Dem and a party grandee —
suggested that the MP for Twickenham will reveal his plan to make
way for a successor before the next scheduled general election in
2022.

The well-placed source claimed his departure could come as early
as party’s spring conference in March.

BI has also seen Whatsapp messages between the latter and
prominent Lib Dem MP, in which the MP claims they “saw it
[Cable’s rumoured resignation] coming,” and agreed to “keep
September 7 free.”

“Around 20 people know about it,” the party grandee told BI,
adding that Lib Dem MPs, peers and other figures have been told
to ensure they have no plans on the day of Cable’s speech.

The same source claimed that the party had discussed holding a
“special conference” in November where the rules of a future
contest to replace Cable as Lib Dem leader would be established.

A source close to Cable said they were not aware of any plans for
him to announce his resignation timetable next month. Cable told
BI this summer that he had no
immediate plans to quit as leader of the Lib Dems.

Current favourites to succeed Cable are his deputy Jo Swinson; MP
Layla Moran; and former minister, Ed Davy.


Jo Swinson Sir Vince Cable
Jo Swinson (left) and Sir Vince
Cable.

REUTERS/Neil
Hall


Cable’s September speech will come as the anti-Brexit party
undergoes a process of transformation.

Members will soon decide whether to adopt a series of radical reforms,
including allowing non-MPs to stand in leadership contests and
non-party members vote in them.

The proposals – known internally as “Project Ozark” — are
designed to make the party more inclusive and reach a wider
audience. Tom Pitfield, a political strategist and friend of
Justin Trudeau, helped Cable come up with them.

The party also has a new slogan, “Demand Better,” which will be
unveiled at its autumn conference in Brighton.

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