How old is Vince Cable, when did he become leader of the Lib Dems and who is his wife Rachel Smith?

How old is Vince Cable, when did he become leader of the Lib Dems and who is his wife Rachel Smith?

July 22, 2019

VINCE Cable became leader of the Liberal Democrats in July last year and is stepping down.

He said recently that he will hand over a "bigger, stronger party". Here's all you need to know about the MP.

How old is Vince Cable and who is his wife Rachel Smith?

Vince Cable, 76, has been married to Rachel Wenham-Smith since 2004.

Rachel is his second wife. His first wife Olympia Cable – with whom he had three kids – died of cancer in 2001.

The former Government minister met Rachel when he spoke at an event in the New Forest in the wake of Olympia’s death, according to the Independent.

He was drawn into an intense row with her after his talk, before recognising her as a fellow student from Cambridge, the paper reported and the pair tied the knot around three years later.

Rachel – an upper middle-class farmer who grew up in Tanzania after the Second World War – told the Express her husband wears the wedding rings from both his marriages.

But she said it didn’t bother her, adding that they “healed each other’s hearts” after her own first marriage of 31 years broke down.

She said: “I was devastated when my husband walked out on me for another woman. It was the worst thing that had ever happened to me and I took it very badly.

"Finding love again with Vince healed my broken heart, as I think it has his, although he’ll never forget Olympia."

When did Vince Cable become Lib Dem leader?

Sir Vince Cable became the new leader of the Liberal Democrats on July 20, 2017 after nominations for the post closed without him facing any challengers.

Cable threw his hat into the ring to be the next Lib Dem leader after Tim Farron revealed he was stepping down.

The fedora-wearing 76-year-old said he could “offer the energy, dedication and drive” to make his party “a credible contender for power”.

He was the bookies' favourite after early frontrunner Jo Swinson announced she would not be running.

The 39-year-old unexpectedly quit the race to replace Mr Farron, saying she wanted to be deputy leader instead as it was "the right role for me now".

In May, he announced he was stepping down to make way for a "new generation".

In a statement, he said that "it is now clear that Brexit will be postponed, and very possibly stopped" and in an interview with the Daily Mail said that it "looks as if it will be a protracted process, and may never happen".

Either Jo Swinson or Sir Ed Davy will succeed Sir Vince on July 22 after results are announced.

What constituency does Vince Cable represent?

Vince Cable represents the constituency of Twickenham in West London.

He has sat as the MP for the area for the majority of the last 20 years, apart from a two-year gap.

Cable was first elected as Twickenham MP in May 1997 and held the seat until he was voted out in 2015 amid a backlash against the Lib Dems following their coalition with the Tories.

But he re-took the seat from the Tories in the General Election of June 2017.

Sir Vince plans to remain MP for Twickenham after he steps down as leader.

What was Sir Vince's legacy?

Sir Vince turned the Lib Dems around after it didn't make progress in the 2017 snap election.

By 2019, the party had their best-ever performance in the European elections – getting 20 per cent of the vote – on the top of an earlier resurgence in English council polls.

What did Vince Cable say about Brexit voters?

Cable sparked fury after claiming Brexit voters only wanted to quit the EU because they want the UK to be whiter.

He was forced to deny suggesting Leave supporters were racist after telling his party's spring conference they were "driven by a nostalgia for a world where passports were blue, faces were white, and the map was coloured imperial pink".

But after Conservatives attacked the comments as "unfair" and called for him to apologise, he doubled down on his earlier claims in an interview with the BBC.

Sir Vince told Radio 4's Today programme “nostalgia” for a bygone Britain was a huge factor in the referendum decision.

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