Business Secretary Vince Cable has said that he was “pretty important” to the coalition Government, and did not see himself resigning from the Cabinet before the next election.
Mr Cable – who has launched a consultation on industrial tribunal reform – told reporters at a Westminster Press Gallery lunch that he had a good relationship with Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr Cable said: “I see myself as pretty important to the coalition, both in terms of running the department and the economic input from the Liberal Democrats. I have a pretty good relationship with Downing Street, a very good relationship with the Prime Minister.”
Asked about bookmakers consistently making him favourite to be the first Liberal Democrat to quit the Cabinet, and whether he would still be in Government at the next election, Mr Cable said: “I think I will. Bookies are often wrong.”
He said he was confident his party would survive the experience of being in coalition with the Conservatives: “Of course we will survive.
“We have taken a political hit in the short run, but there are pluses. There are an awful lot of people who never even considered voting for us as a party who now are considering it because they believe we are serious.
“This short-term picture will turn around. We have been written off lots of times before. I’m very confident we will come through this.”
Mr Cable, who said talks with banks about bonuses and lending were ongoing, also shared a joke with reporters about bankers.
He asked what the difference was between a cat being found dead on a motorway and a banker being found dead on a carriageway.
“There were skid marks around the cat,” said Mr Cable.