Danny Alexander pips Vince Cable to Lib Dem campaign role of economic spokesman

Decision indicates party leadership more comfortable with Tories after poll than Labour

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Indy Politics

Danny Alexander has won a battle with Vince Cable to act as the Liberal Democrats’ main economic spokesman at the general election.

Nick Clegg’s decision will be interpreted as evidence that the party leadership could feel more comfortable continuing in coalition with the Tories after the election than forging a power-sharing deal with Labour.

As Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Alexander has worked closely with Chancellor George Osborne, while Mr Cable, who is the Business Secretary, has made little secret of his Labour-leaning instincts.

A party spokesman said: “We are enormously fortunate to have two talented and well-known ministers on economic matters that are recognised and respected by the public. By the next election Danny Alexander and Vince Cable will have both served for five years … so they know their areas inside out. It therefore makes complete sense they should continue in those roles during the election.”

The spokesman also ruled out any reshuffle of Lib Dem ministers ahead of the election. His comments follow speculation that Alistair Carmichael could be replaced as Scottish Secretary by Jo Swinson.