Sir Vince Cable will quit as Liberal Democrat leader ‘once Brexit is resolved or stopped’.
Jo Swinson, the MP for East Dunbartonshire, is the firm favourite to become the next leader of the Lib Dems.
Sir Vince, who is 75, said he had already made it clear he did not want to follow in the footsteps of William Gladstone, who served into his 80s.
However, he said he would stay in place to lead the party though Brexit, including any possible general election called in the fallout from it.
He said: ‘Reports I have read of my imminent departure are very wide of the mark.
‘Now is not the time for an internal election, once Brexit is resolved or stopped, that will be the time to conduct a leadership election under the new rules.’