Twickenham’s MP has ruled himself out of the running to become the next permanent Speaker of the House of Commons.

Vince Cable emerged as a popular choice to take on the role after Michael Martin announced he will stand down on June 21 in the wake of the MPs expenses scandal – effectively becoming the first Commons Speaker to be forced out of office for 300 years.

Dr Cable, whose profile as an economic commentator has risen since the current financial crisis began, has been heralded as the perfect replacement for Mr Martin by political correspondents and staunch supporters. His reputation was also untarnished by the expenses debacle.

On Wednesday, bookmaker William Hill had Dr Cable at 14-1 to take on the title.

However, Dr Cable said: “I am flattered to be proposed but have said I am not a candidate. I want to be a player, not a referee. I am fully committed to my work as Twickenham MP, Lib Dem deputy leader and Shadow Chancellor.”

A spokesman for William Hill commented: “Vince Cable has been backed from 20-1 to 14-1 to become Speaker and is a popular choice at that price.

“As yet no big money bets for him as he has not encouraged anyone to think he really wants the job despite the Times calling for him to take it on."

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