Former Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney has stepped down as chief of staff to Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable so she can campaign to retake her old seat.

Rumours emerged on Monday, November 6, that Ms Olney had resigned, but she will be working in party headquarters instead, meaning she can try to overturn her narrow loss at the 2017 General Election.

Ms Olney said: “Commuting from the constituency to Westminster every morning, and talking to so many local people on that daily journey, convinced me there remains much to do in the constituency. Having lost by just 45 votes at the last election, I believe I can win the seat back and I am determined to fight for local people against a Conservative Brexit and Heathrow expansion.

“I have only done the job for a short period but now Vince has so successfully established himself as leader of the party with a great team around him in his office and in Liberal Democrat HQ, I feel able to step aside.

Sir Vince said: “She has moved to a different role, basically working as a consultant to the party and also to me. She’s been restricted in what she can do working for me, but this will allow her to campaign in Richmond Park again.

“I would like to state my sincere thanks to Sarah for her help in setting up a leader’s office. I have seen first-hand her political talent, and would love to see her back in parliament representing the neighbouring seat to my own.”

Ms Olney was appointed in the job on September 12 - slightly less than eight weeks ago.

MORE: Sarah Olney appointed Chief of Staff to Vince Cable​

She served as MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston from the by-election in December 2016 to the General Election this year, when Conservative Zac Goldsmith retook the seat with a majority of 45.