James Forsyth James Forsyth

Darling, Cable for you: Go now

Vince Cable’s reputation might be another over-inflated bubble that will have to burst at some point, but there’s no doubt he’s a formidable politician. Alistair Darling should be extremely worried that Cable is now demanding his scalp because of his property flipping.

“When he was accused of ‘flipping’ homes and getting the taxpayer to pay his accountancy bills, I was stunned. I assumed that either a good explanation or a resignation would follow. Neither did. I then assumed that a proper independent investigation would be launched to clear his name. Nothing.

Then I heard him on the car radio telling me that all MPs were to blame, not him personally. My wife had to calm me down, otherwise I would have driven into a ditch with rage. I imagine that the vast majority of MPs, including Labour members, who have not been abusing the system, felt the same.

Here is the company finance director caught with his fingers in the till. He doesn’t explain. He doesn’t apologise. He just blames his colleagues for not stopping him. His moral authority has vanished. He must go, now.”

Cable’s call is made all the more potent by the fact his own expenses are sensible and reasonable and that he’s not the kind of politician who goes around demanding resignations on a regular basis. 

The way the Telegraph has done the expenses story has meant that there has been a certain safety in numbers for those who have been accused of wrongdoing. If Cable can get the spotlight to foucs on Darling’s affairs, then Darling is in real danger. 

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