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Stroke news

Former government party leader had stroke whilst in position 



Former business secretary has revealed in a memoir that he attempted to carry on working despite health issues.

Whilst being leader of the Liberal Democrats, Vince Cable had a minor stroke that would seriously effect his abilities to work when giving speeches and attending political events.

Cable decided to keep his health issues a secret for over a year and keep on his duties of party leader, before stepping down in July 2019.

In the memoir, the 79-year-old confesses that he was in two minds about whether to publicly share his health issues, but decided not to with fears he’d be written off as a “goner”.

He recalls an occasion in early summer 2018, when he was addressing MPs in the House of Commons, whilst debating Brexit: “I totally lost my bearings and for what seemed an eternity I was paralysed.

“There weren’t many MPs in the chamber and those present were either half-asleep or working on their phones so I was able to get back into my stride without too much attention being paid. But my confidence was seriously shaken.”

The truth about Cable’s health was revealed in ‘Partnership & Politics In a Divided Decade’.

Towards the end of the book, it is revealed that the former business secretary had his stroke whilst travelling to Italy in May 2018.

Cable describes his rehabilitation after stroke diagnosis as “I tried to get back into a regular routine, behaving as if nothing had happened, though it was difficult to follow long meetings and I was conscious of having a ‘funny voice’”.

He now believes that he should have been transparent about his health at the time, as it may of helped others suffering similar setbacks.

It was at the Lib Dem’s annual conference in 2018 that Cable would make a mistake with the punchline of a joke that his spin doctor had already briefed to the press.

Rather than referring to Brexiters’ “erotic spasm” on leaving the EU, Cable said “erotic spresm”.

It would be this that would grab the media’s intention, instead of the serious content of the speech. 

The book involves the memories of Cable’s wife, Rachel Smith, who kept a diary whilst he was involved in politics.

It is noticeable that Smith’s concerns for her husband and her wanting for him to give up the leadership grew as weeks went by.

Smith writes about her annoyance that Cable had canceled a short holiday away that she believes would of benefitted him: “V is fretting about his non-appearance on the news. I point out that Corbyn’s coverage is almost all negative and May’s not much better so I wish he could switch off for a week. 

“His reaction is to give up on the short break we have planned in Dorset and hang around in the hope of getting some TV and radio which makes me cross and makes no sense”.

Smith’s reaction to the conference blunder was: “I am hoping V will have stepped down from the leadership by next summer, making a long trip possible.”