Sir Vince Cable has announced he will step down as Liberal Democrat leader after May’s English local elections.
Sir Vince said he wanted to pave the way for a “new generation”.
He became party leader without a contest after Tim Farron’s resignation in 2017 – but the party has struggled to make an impact in the polls since.
The former business secretary said in September he would stand down as party leader “once Brexit is resolved or stopped”.
In a statement, the Twickenham MP said: “I indicated last year that once the Brexit story had moved on, and we had fought this year’s crucial local elections in 9,000 seats across England, it would be time for me to make way for a new generation.
“I set considerable store by having an orderly, business-like, succession unlike the power struggles in the other parties.”
He said he would ask the party to begin a leadership contest in May.
He added: “It has been my great privilege to lead the Liberal Democrats at this crucial time.
“I inherited the leadership after two difficult and disappointing general elections. But I take pride in seeing the party recovering strongly, with last year’s local election results the best in 15 years, record membership and a central role in the People’s Vote campaign.”