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Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade


Overall responsibility for the department strategy and all policies, overall responsibility for BIS budget, particular focus on business and banking issues, lead Cabinet Minister for reducing regulatory burdens across Government.


Vince Cable was born in 1943. He was educated at Nunthorpe Grammar School in York and read Natural Science and Economics at Cambridge University, where he was President of the Union, after which he studied for a PhD at Glasgow University.

Vince worked as Treasury Finance Officer for the Kenyan Government between 1966 and 1968. From 1968 to 1974 he lectured in Economics at Glasgow University. 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 as a Special Adviser to the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, John Smith MP. From 1983 to 1990, Vince worked as Special Adviser on Economic Affairs for the Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Sonny Ramphal.

From 1990, Vince Cable worked for Shell International and in 1995 became the company’s Chief Economist. He was appointed head of the economics programme at Chatham House and since becoming an MP in 1997, was appointed a fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford and was a visiting research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics.

He joined the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet in October 1999 as spokesman on Trade and Industry after a spell as a junior Treasury spokesman. Until he was appointed to the Coalition Government as Business Secretary in May 2010, he had been the Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor from November 2003 and from March 2006 Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

He is married to Rachel with three children by his late wife, Olympia.