07/09/2018 10:53 BST

Sir Vince Cable To Step Down As Lib Dem Leader 'Once Brexit Is Resolved'

He said reports of an imminent departure are "wide of the mark".

Yui Mok - PA Images via Getty Images
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable giving a speech at the National Liberal Club, London on Friday.

Sir Vince Cable is to resign as leader of the Liberal Democrats “once Brexit is resolved”, the 75-year-old announced.

The former business secretary said during a speech at the National Liberal Club in London that he had already made it clear he did not want to follow in the footsteps of William Gladstone, who served into his 80s.

However, he said he would stay in place to lead the party though Brexit, including any possible general election called in the fallout from it.

“Reports I have read of my imminent departure are very wide of the mark,” he told an audience on Friday morning.

“Now is not the time for an internal election, once Brexit is resolved or stopped, that will be the time to conduct a leadership election under the new rules.”

Cable refused to confirm a timeline for his departure and suggested he would fight a snap election if one were called before March 2019.

It comes after he announced a proposed change to Lib Dem membership rules to allow “moderates” outside of the party to choose its next leader.

Under the plans, so-called “liberal-minded” people would be able to have their say without paying a membership fee.