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Reflecting on six months as leader

January 31, 2018 12:00 PM
By Vince Cable
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Vince Cable

Vince has been leader of the Liberal Democrats - and he's toured every part of the United Kingdom - find out what he's learned and what his plan is for the next six months:

I have spent much of the last six months travelling around England from Torquay to Tyneside, as well as several trips through Wales - where Jane Dodds is leading the charge to revive our fortunes - and a visit to Scotland, where Willie Rennie leads a great team.

What I have found is a party in good heart, mounting a sure, steady fightback to recover ground lost during the Coalition years.

And we are opening up new territory too, even in Leave supporting, Labour areas like Sunderland, Liberal Democrats are on the march.

For members of our party, the battle for an exit from Brexit is the fight of a lifetime.

We are winning the argument, with nearly 3 in 5 people backing our call for a public vote on the final deal. As the promises of the Leave campaign unravel daily, we must keep on advancing the argument.

In Parliament, our strong group in the Lords will challenge the government over the next three months on all the flaws in their EU Withdrawal Bill.

And our peers will continue to reach out across party lines to grow parliamentary support for the public to have the last word, with an option to stay in the European Union.

The local government elections coming up on May 4th are a big opportunity to show a growth in public support for the party.

To win, we need good local campaigns in each area, focusing on improving local services and holding arrogant Tory and Labour councils to account..

To help at a national level, I'm focusing my leadership on fixing the broken housing market, funding the NHS and social care properly and sustainably, and preparing Britain for the advances in automation and artificial intelligence which are coming down the track.

As a country, we need to invest in lifelong learning and a whole swathe of new jobs in green technologies if we are to be ready.

My regional tour is focusing on the areas where we have good chances to make gains in May, and I'd urge you to get involved locally or find the nearest area with a good campaign and go over to help.

With 100,000 members we are better placed than ever to make an impact on the ground, but it will take time and energy from all of us to secure the progress we need.

I look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail!