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Under-fire Cable breaks silence with local paper

A weekly newspaper has gained an exclusive interview with Business Secretary Vince Cable following the sting by undercover reporters at the Daily Telegraph.

He broke his silence over the tactics used by the national newspaper in an interview with his local paper, the Richmond and Twickenham Times, saying the incident had caused ‘great damage’ to the confidential relationship between MPs and their constituents.

The MP, who was stripped of his responsibility for media after his comments on News Corporation’s planned takeover of BskyB were published, said he would be ‘more guarded’ in future, in an interview with Paul Teed from the RTT.

The weekly title is putting out an online-only edition on Christmas Eve and will not be available in print.

Dr Cable said he wanted to speak to his local paper first so he could reassure his constituents, because he was concerned some of them could be worried about visiting him at his weekly surgeries.

In the interview, the Lib Dem MP said: “I feel quite angry and strongly about this, I’ve had constituency surgeries now for 13 years every week, that’s well over 600.

“Thousands and thousands of constituents have been to see me, often on very difficult and highly confidential issues which have been respected by me and by them.

“Then somebody who isn’t a constituent falsifies their name and address and comes in with a hidden microphone – it completely undermines the whole basis on which you operate as a local MP.”

In the interview, he ruled out taking legal action against the Telegraph.