Watch out Lib Dems, Vince Cable's been doing some thinking again

Written by James Millar on 3 August 2018 in Diary

Now he wants to give Boaty McBoatface a shot at being party leader

Having dreamed of being Lib Dem leader for so long Vince Cable now seems mainly occupied with who is going to follow him. 

Last week it was reported that Cable was flirting with the idea of letting non-MPs stand to be Lib Dem leader. That was dismissed as a "crackpot idea" by party sources.

However it's now been revealed that he wants to change party rules so that anyone can elect the next leader of the party.

That's what Labour did in 2015 when thousands of cut-price members joined the party to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader. A number of Tories claimed they too had forked out the £3 fee to ensure Labour were led by a no-hoper, though the 2017 general election result proved that tactic ill-advised. However Labour continues to struggle with a leader who is popular with party members but not among actual MPs. 

In a more extreme case of widening the franchise, opening up a poll to the all members of the public saw the UK's state of the art polar exploration ship nearly lumbered with the name Boaty McBoatface.

Lib Dem sources have denied that the moves are aimed at making it easier for someone like anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller to lead the party. She is due to speak at Lib Dem conference at September. The new proposals will be formally unveiled there and voted on later in the autumn.

Cable is under pressure just one year into his tenure at the top of the Lib Dems after seeking to position the party as the home of Brexit opponents then missing a key vote on the customs bill which the government ended up winning with a majority of just three.

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