BoE board critical of King’s politics

MEMBERS of the Bank of England’s oversight board voiced their unease at its politicisation at a parliamentary meeting yesterday.

Four members of the supervisory Court of the Bank of England admitted they were uncomfortable with how the Bank had been drawn into politics and governor Mervyn King’s words had been used by ministers.

Former industrialist Sir Roger Carr told a Treasury Select Committee meeting it was “of paramount importance” to him that the Bank did not become involved in politics.

“The integrity and credibility of the Bank are absolutely dependent on it not being seen as having a political axe to grind,” he said. “We have made that very clear to the governor.”

Carr also disagreed with ministers using King’s words to “make it appear he is giving political support.”

Court chairman Sir David Lees said he was also “not terribly comfortable” with King’s comments in a January speech in which he appeared to support the government’s fiscal consolidation measures.