Lib Dems won't succeed as 'Ukip in reverse', says leader Sir Vince Cable

Liberal Democrats leader Sir Vince Cable says the party cannot succeed by being just "Ukip in reverse", he told their conference in Bournemouth.

Cable called for the Lib Dems to come up with their own ideas for economic reform and changed to tuition fees, as he forced the point that his is the only pro-European.

The former business secretary wants to dis-incentivise the owning of second homes and talked of higher taxes for the wealthy.

“I want our party to lead the fight against Brexit. But we should not be consumed by Brexit to the exclusion of everything else.

“We are not a single-issue party...we’re not Ukip in reverse. I see our future as a party of government.”

There was criticism aimed at those in charge of the Brexit talks, as Cable made his view clears on the matter, saying the country would be left poorer if it were to leave the European Union.

"Quite simply, Brexit Britain will be poorer and weaker than if we had decided to stay in Europe. Brexit was described by the Brexit Secretary himself as an operation of such technical complexity that it makes the moon landing look simple.

"I have to say it is a pity that the Brexit landing is being managed by people who would struggle to get their heads around a toddlers’ Lego set."

Former leader Tim Farron watched on. Credit: PA

The new leader started by thanking his predecessor Tim Farron.

Cable opened with: "He hands over a Party, which is larger, stronger and more diverse than the one he inherited.

"He stood up for refugees whose plight the government had shamefully ignored.

"He established our very clear identity as the only real, undiluted pro-European party."

Cable believes he can be a future prime minister, repeating his claim through the conference.

“Our party is not just a coalition partner of the past, we are the government of the future. And my role, as your leader, is to be a credible potential prime minister,” he said.