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British PM backs Bank of England boss Carney

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(FILES) This file photo taken on June 30, 2016 shows Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney giving a press conference at the Bank of England in the City of London, on June 30, 2016. Media speculation mounted on October 30, 2016 that the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, is set to announce his departure amid tensions with Prime Minister Theresa May's new government. The Canadian is on a five-year contract that expires in 2018 but has an option to extend the job until 2021, a decision the central bank has said will be made public by the end of this year. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Matt Dunham

(FILES) This file photo taken on June 30, 2016 shows Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney giving a press conference at the Bank of England in the City of London, on June 30, 2016. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Matt Dunham

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday threw her weight behind Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who faces intense speculation over his future.

Carney began his tenure in 2013, stressing his intention to serve only five years of an eight-year term for personal reasons, meaning he would step down in 2018.

But in late 2015, he refused to rule out staying for the full eight years in the run-up to the Brexit referendum in June this year.

May’s intervention came as British media was divided over Carney’s fate — with competing weekend claims over whether he was set to announce his departure amid tensions following Britain’s vote in favour of exiting the European Union.

“The prime minister has been clear in her support for the governor, the work he is doing for the country,” May’s official spokeswoman told reporters.

“It’s clearly a decision for him but the prime minister would certainly be supportive of him going on beyond his five years.”

The Sunday Times, citing senior figures who had worked closely with the governor, reported that he was “disillusioned” with May’s Conservative government and criticism over his stance since the Brexit vote on June 23.

The Financial Times, however, said he was “ready” to serve a full eight-year term, reporting that Carney had told friends he was readying a statement to end what it called “damaging” speculation.

“The prime minister has always had a good working relationship with the governor of the Bank of England and intends to continue that,” added May’s spokeswoman.

“She recognises the work that he’s been doing for the country and supports that, while recognising it’s also a decision for him.

“She’s fully supportive of the work that he has done as is doing for the country.”

A Bank of England spokesman told AFP on Monday that “nothing has changed”, adding Carney’s decision over whether to stay will be made public by the end of the year.

Under Carney’s leadership, the BoE had warned repeatedly over the potential impact of Britain’s potential departure from the European Union.

The central bank had argued in July that Britain could fall into recession as businesses delay investment decisions because of the shock June 23 referendum vote to exit the EU.



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