The current leader of the Liberal Democrats is Vince Cable, the MP for Twickenham until 2015 and since 2017:
First elected as MP for Twickenham in south west London in 1997, Vince Cable seat held his seat until the 2015 general election. He then won it back again in the 2017 general election.
During the 2010-15 coalition government, he was Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, serving the full five years in the Cabinet. Previous jobs have included working for the Kenyan government, being Chief Economist at Shell and working for Glasgow University.
Growing up in York, Vince Cable’s father Len was a craftsman at Rowntree’s chocolate factory and his mother Edith packed chocolates for rival firm Terry’s. After university he moved to Scotland and became a Glasgow councillor in the 1970s, when he was a Labour member. Vince Cable joined the SDP in the 1980s and then the Liberal Democrats when the SDP and Liberals merged.
He is known for his ballroom dancing, appearing in the Christmas 2010 edition of Strictly Come Dancing.
Vince Cable constituency office address
Vince Cable’s constituency office is at 49 Church Lane, Teddington, TW11 8PA but for national Liberal Democrat matters, there is the national Lib Dem HQ in London.
Lib Dem leadership contest
The leader of the Liberal Democrats is elected by one-member, one-vote (OMOV). This means that all party members get one vote and each vote counts equally in the election for Lib Dem leader. However, in this contest Vince Cable was the only candidate nominated and so there was no need for a ballot.
Find out more about Lib Dem leaders
The previous Liberal Democrats leaders were:
- Tim Farron (2015-17)
- Nick Clegg (2007-15)
- Vince Cable (2007) (acting leader)
- Menzies (Ming) Campbell (2006-7)
- Charles Kennedy (1999-2006) (see biography here)
- Paddy Ashdown (1988-1999) (see memoirs here)
- David Steel and Robert Maclennan (1988) (interim joint leaders)
There is an excellent book about previous Liberal Democrat and Liberal leaders I happily recommend: British Liberal Leaders, edited by Duncan Brack and Tony Little.
You can also find out more about how previous Lib Dem leaders have fared in this short history of the Liberal Democrats.
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