MP hits out at attacks on the City

THE Square Mile’s local MP will today launch a rare but impassioned defence of the City and financial services, accusing the coalition of “playing to the gallery” to appeal to “general banker bashing sentiment”.

Mark Field, the Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, will use a speech at Westminster Hall to hit out at the “near universal distaste reserved for financial services”.

Field will also warn the government against punishing the financial services sector while “picking winners” to engineer a rebalancing of the economy. He will concede that the financial crisis highlighted the UK’s dependence on the City and its exposure to the global banking system.

But he will add: “My worry is that it is being used as code – even by Conservative coalition ministers – for a playing to the gallery as part of the general banker bashing sentiment.”

And he will warn against “penalising our most competitive sector” while “fooling ourselves that a miraculous rebalancing of the economy will occur by default”. “It is not for the government to pick winners and losers,” Field will say.

Last night, Field told City A.M.: “The thing I’m trying to get across is this: time and time again, foreign bankers tell me we must be mad, because we have a business that links us successfully to international markets, but we want to throw it away.”