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Cable: I would make a good Chancellor

Nick Paler
Written By:
Nick Paler

Business Secretary Vince Cable has thrown open a potential challenge to George Osborne’s role as Chancellor of the Exchequer after claiming he would “make a good chancellor”.

Cable made the comments in an interview with the BBC, although he added he was “not pushing for the job”.

Pushed on whether he would make a good Chancellor, Cable reportedly said: “I probably would but George Osborne is doing the job, we are doing it together well as part of a team, and nobody’s suggesting we change the arrangements”.

It comes after his close ally Lord Oakeshott called for him to replace Osborne, who he described as a “work experience chancellor”.

Osborne is under fire after this week’s growth figure showed the UK economy is in its longest post-war recession.

The economy shrunk by 0.7% between April and June – and is the third quarter in a row that the economy has contracted.

Osborne said the government was “dealing with our debts at home and the debt crisis abroad”.

He also tried to shift the blame onto Europe, saying: “Given what is happening in the world, we need a relentless focus on the economy and recent announcements on infrastructure and lending show that is exactly what we are doing.”

However, his opponents are growing ever more vocal.

Lord Oakeshott told BBC News on Wednesday his fellow Lib Dem Cable should be put in charge at the Treasury.

He said: “George Osborne has got no business experience.

“He has never worked outside politics. He is doing surprisingly well for a Chancellor on work experience.

“But really in a torrid time like this I think we do need absolutely the best people available.”

In an interview with the BBC Two’s Newsnight programme, Cable said Lord Oakeshott was a “good friend” but he did not agree with him on the issue.