Lib Dems look set to elect left-wing deputy

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Indy Politics

The Liberal Democrats look set to elect a figure from the left of the party as its next deputy leader following Vince Cable's decision to step down from the role.

Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, announced he was standing yesterday. He said he would aim to maintain the party's "independence" while it worked with the Tories in the coalition Government. Simon Hughes, another left-wing figure and one of the party's highest profile politicians without a Government post, is expected to announce his candidacy today.

The position has become crucially important with the onset of the coalition. It is understood that Nick Clegg is keen to see the job go to an MP on the left of the party to ensure those uneasy sitting alongside the Tories feel they have a voice.

Mr Farron said the role was "extremely important as a voice that is unashamedly partisan but unflinchingly loyal".

Candidates need the support of five fellow MPs to earn a place in the ballot, which will take place on 9 June.