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Vince Cable in Leeds

August 12, 2017 12:53 PM

Vince Cable in Leeds

Vince Cable held a meeting for party members in Leeds recently. Our reporter John Cole was there.

Sir Vince is undertaking a series of these meetings with members up and down the country - and is doing this with great enthusiasm.

I had expected Vince to be good - but he exceeded my expectations.

He was honest about the shortcomings of the general election performance of the Party but already had ideas as how to make more impact (partly hinging on wider and more penetrating use of social media).

However, for me the big pluses are Sir Vince's informed grasp of many of the key issues,. Time and again, in answering questions he was able to draw on knowledge and experience gained during his time in government. He is a substantial figure - far more engaging than Mrs May and with more "bottom" than J. Corbyn.

Also the Cable humanity came across - one or two questions from the audience related to mental health to other incapacities that might keep people from work (or struggling with a Fitness to Work Assessment). Vince's empathy and basic decency shone through in his responses.

And he is a liberal. A question on the need to be alert to the threat of terrorism gave Vince the chance to assert that in combating terrorism we should not easily trade off our human rights freedoms