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. 
Outside of Politics, Cable worked as treasury finance officer for the Kenyan Government between 1966 and 1968. From 1968 to 1974 he was a lecturer in economics at Glasgow University. He then worked in a range of senior economic and foreign policy roles, before becoming Shell International’s chief economist in 1995. 
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.