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Vince's favourite bit of footwork is the sidestep

Is a flair for ballroom dancing a pre-requisite for the post of Business Secretary? Vince Cable's predecessor Peter Mandelson was famously no slouch on the parquet, and his dance with a pensioner on the campaign trail was one of the abiding images of this year's General Election - and his party's defeat.

Now Mr Cable has been unveiled as a contestant in this year's Christmas show of Strictly Come Dancing. The Liberal Democrat is due to perform the American Smooth and the foxtrot and will follow in the dance steps of current contestant Ann Widdecombe.

Mr Cable has long listed ballroom dancing as a hobby but after angering bankers with a speech at his party's conference in which he condemned the "spivs and gamblers", sidestepping the criticisms of the banking lobby may be the most useful move he could ever master.