Cable served in the Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet as Spokesman on Trade and Industry from 1999 to 2003. Followed by a role as Shadow Chancellor from 2003 to 2010. He was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 2006 to 2010. 
Cable attended Nunthorpe Grammar School before going to York and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he studied natural science and economics and was President of the Union. He then studied for a PhD at Glasgow University.