Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable has revealed he is backing Paralympian Lauren Steadman to lift the Glitterball trophy in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.

The former coalition Business Secretary, who is an accomplished ballroom dancer, said he was “following it closely” and voting.

He also waded into the debate surrounding this year’s celebrity line-up, arguing the inclusion of two “semi-professionals” in the shape of singer Ashley Roberts and Steps star Faye Tozer was “not a level playing field”.

Asked if he was following the latest series of the BBC One dance show, Sir Vince told the Press Association: “Yes I am following it closely. The thing that worries me this year … I think what’s unfortunate this year, you’ve got these two semi-professionals Faye and Ashley, who are outstandingly good, but it’s not a level playing field is it? They are competing with people who are starting from scratch.”

Liberal Democrats Autumn Conference 2018
Sir Vince Cable is an accomplished ballroom dancer and has been following the show (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The MP for Twickenham revealed he had been voting for Casualty actor Charles Venn, but was now supporting Ms Steadman after Venn was sent home by the judges during last Sunday’s quarter-final dance-off.

He said: “I voted for Charles, the one who was voted out last week because I thought he was great and I’m now voting for Lauren.”

He added that he was backing Ms Steadman to win unless she got knocked out by the judges.

Paralympian Steadman and her partner AJ Pritchard have so far avoided the dance-off despite finding themselves near the bottom of the leader board, while ex-Pussycat Doll Roberts has been saved by the judges for two weeks in a row.

Sir Vince won praise when he made an appearance on the 2010 Christmas edition of the show dancing a foxtrot with professional dancer Erin Boag.

This year’s remaining five celebrity couples will perform two routines in this Saturday’s hotly contested semi-final.