Twickenham’s new MP, Sir Vince Cable, has not ruled out running for leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Tim Farron has stepped down in the wake of the election, citing his difficulty leading a progressive party as a committed Christian, leading to speculation over who might replace him.

Sir Vince said: “He did a very good job in building up our party support during the last 18 months. We now have record numbers of membership. I think it’s unfortunate that he wasn’t able to reconcile his very deep and genuine beliefs.”

Asked whether he was considering running for the position, Sir Vince said: “I haven’t come to a conclusion. There’s a lot of discussion going on in the party at the moment. I’m not going to make a decision just yet.

“Whatever happens, though, I will continue to focus on being a local MP.”

He also spoke of his pride at winning back his old seat in the general election last week.

He won the seat with 52.8 per cent of the vote, beating the incumbent Conservative MP Dr Tania Mathias (38 per cent), having previously represented the constituency between 1997 and 2015.

The former business secretary said: “I’m absolutely delighted, and this is the largest vote that I and my party have ever had in this area. I’m flattered by the confidence people have had in me and I want to repay that by being a good MP.

“I’m looking forward to working on the local issues that presented themselves during the campaign. First of all, funding of schools, and secondly the long drawn out issues of health and social care.”