Vince in talks with Treasury, ready to serve as Chancellor

In what’s believed to be unprecedented in recent times, Vince Cable has held talks with Nicholas Macpherson, the big cheese at the Treasury, about Lib Dems economic policies and what might happen in the event of a hung/ balanced parliament.

Cable was unaware of such meetings having taken place with Lib Dem shadow chancellors before previous general elections. The talks were a sign that the Treasury was “taking seriously” the prospect of his party playing a leading role in economic policy in what could be the first hung parliament since 1974.

Vince has also declared himself ready to serve as chancellor in a hung parliament. Although that raises questions over how he might end up in such a situation, it certainly focuses the mind on whether Vince Cable or George Osborne would make the better chancellor.

Cable, whose credibility has grown throughout the economic crisis, made clear that, if he was to be offered the chancellorship in a hung parliament, he would jump at the chance. He did not want to be “the most unpopular person in Britain” as public spending is slashed, he said, but added: “I wouldn’t be in this business if I wasn’t willing to take the responsibility if it was to come my way.”

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2 Comments

  • Tony Greaves 21st Mar '10 - 11:45am

    The problem with the long run-in to the election is that newspapers are searching for ever dafter fantasy stories.

    Tony Greaves

  • Anthony Aloysius St 29th Mar '10 - 1:20pm

    “Mr Cable earlier this month claimed to have been consulted by the Treasury about his party’s policies and suggested the talks were a prelude to his becoming Chancellor in the event of a hung parliament.
    It later emerged that the meeting with Sir Nicholas McPherson, the permanent secretary at the Treasury, had been a “courtesy call” requested by Mr Cable himself.
    Mr Cable’s presentation of the event angered Treasury officials, and the Lib Dem has now written to Sir Nicholas to apologise.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/liberaldemocrats/7534160/Vince-Cable-apologises-for-Treasury-boast.html

    Oh dear oh dear.

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