Vince Cable refuses to rule out new Tory deal

VINCE Cable has said he would not rule out another Liberal Democrat coalition with the Conservatives as he backed Nick Clegg to stay on as the party’s leader.

Vince Cable has refused to rule out a new coalition deal with the Conservatives. Picture: John Devlin

Mr Cable, who has been Business Secretary since 2010, told the Independent he felt the Lib Dems could have a “significant influence” after the nation goes to the polls on May 7.

Some opinion polls have had the party down in single figures, trailing Ukip and even the Greens, prompting suggestions they could lose out on dozens of their parliamentary seats.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr Clegg has brushed off the claims, saying the party is “here to stay” and Mr Cable told the paper: “I don’t think he will step down. I think he will keep his seat and I think he will stay as leader. That’s my expectation.”

As for any post-election power-sharing deal with the Tories, Mr Cable added: “I would think there is a high probability we will have a significant influence. I am not ruling that out but I am not pushing for it.”

And he said there were “difficulties” with working with Labour, particularly over the party’s approach to business and tuition fees, but would not rule out an agreement with them either.

“I am not ruling either out but in both cases there are some quite fundamental disagreements,” he said.