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Vince Cable MP: Biography

Vincent Cable read Natural Science and Economics at Cambridge University, where he was President of the Union, followed by a PhD at Glasgow University.

Vince worked as Treasury Finance Officer for the Kenya Government between 1966 and 1968. After lecturing at Glasgow University in economics he worked as a first Secretary in the Diplomatic Service in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1974-1976). He was then Deputy Director of the Overseas Development Institute, which included a period working for the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, John Smith MP, as a Special Advisor. From 1983 to 1990 Vince worked as Special Advisor on Economic Affairs for the Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Sonny Ramphal.

From 1990 Vince worked for Shell International and in 1995 became Shell's Chief Economist. He was made head of the economics programme at Chatham House and since becoming an MP, has been appointed a fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford and a visiting research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the LSE, for a 3 year period until 2004.

Vince Cable served as a Labour Councillor in Glasgow between 1971 and 1974, before joining the Social Democrat Party. In 1997 Vince Cable was first elected to Parliament to represent Twickenham.

He joined the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet in October 1999 as Spokesman on Trade and Industry after a spell as a junior Treasury spokesman. He was the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor from November 2003 until May 2010 and was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats until May 2010. He is now Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

He has published several books and reports on international economics, trade and environmental issues including:

  • Protectionism and Industrial Decline, 1983
  • The New Giants: China and India (Chatham House), 1994
  • The World's New Fissures; The Politics of Identity (Demos), 1995
  • Globalisation and Global Governance (Chatham House), 1999
  • Multiple Identities (Demos), 2005
  • Public Services: Reform with a Purpose (Centre for Reform), 2005
  • The Storm: The World Economic Crisis and What it Means (Atlantic), 2009
  • Tackling the fiscal crisis: A recovery plan for the UK (Reform), 2009