Vince Cable answers readers' questions

Will you ever be Liberal Democrat leader? I have never had aspirations to be leader. We have got a very good team and the public are beginning to see that. I am very happy with the role I play. Nick Clegg is very good at what he does. I did not stand f

Will you ever be Liberal Democrat leader?

"I have never had aspirations to be leader. We have got a very good team and the public are beginning to see that.

"I am very happy with the role I play. Nick Clegg is very good at what he does. I did not stand for leadership and I am not competing for it.

"That creates a sort of ease in the party that we have a genuinely complementary role and there is no jousting or discomfort at the top. It sends a very good message to the electorate."


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Who would you side with in the event of a hung parliament?

"The proposition that hung parliaments are weak governments is simply wrong. The evidence is to the contrary.

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"There is some interesting work which looks at about 20 different recent experiences of governments in Europe and North America coping with big fiscal crises.

"The ones that did best were minority governments and hung parliaments. Very often what happens is when you get governments with big majorities they will battle which is exactly our experience here.

"We have a Labour government that people have become terribly disillusioned with and which has become arrogant and over confident and people still remember the Tory years. The public view is warming to the idea that a hung parliament might actually be in the national interest.

"But it may not be in the Liberal Democrats' best interests actually - it would be quite a difficult thing for us to manage as any council leader who has been in this position knows very well."

If you were going to pick George Osborne or Alistair Darling as Chancellor who would it be?

"The premise of the question is an interesting one because people are always saying to us who will you work with.

"But actually in a national crisis you may well get a grand coalition. It is something which goes wholly against the British tribal culture but the Germans did it. It presents all kind of awkwardness but it is a possibility.

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