LONDON — Vince Cable said on Friday he would step down as leader of the Liberal Democrats once Brexit is “resolved.”
The 75-year-old former business secretary will first oversee reforms to the party which he says will turn it into a “movement for moderates.”
He has launched a consultation proposing a new class of supporters who pay nothing to sign up to the party’s values and entitle them to vote in a leadership election. He also wants to widen the leadership pool beyond its small group of 12 MPs, which include former leader Tim Farron.
Cable refused to put an “artificial timeline” on his exit, pledging to stay on for local elections next May, in case there is a snap general election, according to a report of the speech by Sky News.
Cable admitted meeting other people trying to set up new parties during the speech in London, indicating the Liberal Democrats were “open to working together with people from other parties.”
“When democracy can’t deliver, the frustration opens up a space for various forms of ugly populism. We have seen this summer it is offered as verbal attacks on Muslims and jews, and wall to wall Brexit, and that is it. I think it is a worrying picture, and as the leader of the Liberal Democrats I have actually asked how I and my party can protect and develop liberal democracy in Britain at a time when it is in grave danger, and I am tempted to say the gravest since the 1930s,” he said.