Vince Cable: I could become prime minister

From BBC - September 17, 2017

Sir Vince Cable has insisted it is "perfectly plausible" that he could become the next prime minister.

The new Liberal Democrat leader, who opened the party's conference on Saturday, told the BBC that UK politics was in a "remarkable state of flux".

He said his party was the alternative to a Tory party in an "open civil war" and Labour in a "suppressed civil war".

He also announced a review of tuition fees policy, saying none of the parties is in "a good place" over the issue.

It comes amid unconfirmed reports that the government is looking at ways of reducing the financial burden on students - either potentially by reducing the 9,250 maximum fee chargeable by universities or the 6.1% interest rate on re-payments.

Sir Vince said the party's U-turn on tuition fee increases in 2011, while in coalition with the Conservatives, had caused lasting damage and a new approach was needed.

He said the current system, in which there are no upfront costs and graduates do not have to pay anything until they earn 21,000, had many good elements.

But he suggested that a graduate tax could be a better alternative.

'Alternative PM'

Despite winning four more seats in June's general election, taking the total number of MPs to 12, the Lib Dem vote share fell to 7.4%.

Pushed on whether it was realistic to go from such a low level to winning a majority, Sir Vince - who served in the coalition government for five years - said it was "perfectly plausible".

Second referendum


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