Sir Vince Cable is expected to make a big announcement on September 7th, just weeks before the autumn conference season. It is understood that Sir Vince plans to make changes to leadership succession rules in the party, which could see candidates from outside of the party stand in a leadership election. Furthermore, the plans could see non-party members being able to have their say in any such vote.
Sources have suggested that is unlikely that Sir Vince, who is currently 75, will lead the party into the next scheduled general election in 2022. Reports had suggested the speech is September would be used to set out a timeline for his departure, but a party source has said “He has no plans to step down any time soon.”
It is understood that the plans to change the party rules have been inspired by a former aide to the Canadian Prime Minister, Tom Pitfield, who is currently advising the Lib Dem leader.
While some appear sceptical about the plans to change the party’s rules, North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb told Sky News that he was in favour of the proposals;
“When you have a small parliamentary party it inevitably limits the choice very considerably. You’ve got 12 people, some of whom won’t have any interest in being leader, or seen in that light, so you end up with a very small field potentially.
“And there may be other dynamic people out there beyond the parliamentary party who could have a significant impact on the future of liberal progressive politics, so why exclude them?”
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