The three remaining Liberal lawmakers have put themselves forward to lead the party after three others quit this week. Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, who represents the catering sector, has agreed to join retailing sector lawmaker Vincent Fang Kang as candidates for the two vice-chairman posts backing Miriam Lau Kin-yee for the party chairmanship. Ms Lau, the acting chairwoman, adopted a conciliatory tone, saying her priority was to persuade the renegade trio to return. However, the war of words worsened yesterday, deepening the chaos in the main pro-business party. Ms Lau said she had not officially announced the new leadership team because nominations for the posts closed in two weeks' time. She pledged to listen to members' views. Mr Cheung said that, with only three lawmakers, their participation on Legco panels would be reduced drastically. They would focus on economic and educational issues, he said. Sophie Leung Lau Yau-fun, who quit with fellow lawmakers Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung and Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen, blasted Ms Lau for not listening to them - the reason they cited on Wednesday for splitting from the party. 'Perhaps it is because she didn't feel she needed to speak to me,' said Mrs Leung, who said she tried to meet Ms Lau on Sunday. 'Is it because she thinks I'm not even a party member? Or is it because she thinks talking to me is a waste of breath? I'm starting to feel it's that way.' Mrs Leung was asked whether the real reason they quit was because her prospects of securing appointment to the Executive Council faded when Mr Lam - favoured to take over as party chairman - lost out to Ms Lau. Mrs Leung said she had never sought a place on Exco. 'I would never do such a thing. It's so cheap,' she said. The chairmanship fell vacant when James Tien Pei-chun resigned after the party's humiliating defeat in Legco geographical constituency elections. Mrs Leung confirmed that she had approached rural patriarch Lau Wong-fat, another former Liberal who quit last month, and asked for his support. The trio hope Mr Lau and pro-business independents Philip Wong Yu-hong and Lam Tai-fai will join them.