The Treasury has refused the demands of opposition MPs to publish the shortlist of candidates to be the next Bank of England governor, saying it “would not be appropriate” to name names.
A group of 28 opposition MPs today called on chancellor Sajid Javid to publish the shortlist and raised concerns that he could appoint a political ally.
The letter to Javid from MPs came after YouGov polling commissioned by finance campaign group Positive Money found that only 19 per cent trust Javid to appoint the “right person”.
Mark Carney, who has been governor since 2013, is due to step down in January. As the new chancellor, Javid will pick the next person to lead Britain’s central bank should he stay in office.
Yet the Treasury said that it will not publish the shortlist and said the Treasury Select Committee of MPs can scrutinise the process once the governor has been chosen.
A Treasury spokesperson said: “As we confirmed when we launched this process, we will be publishing relevant statistics covering the shortlist. It would not be appropriate to put personal information, including names from the shortlist, into the public domain.”
“The Treasury Select Committee will have the opportunity to scrutinise the process once the appointment has been made, as they did with the current governor.”
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) chief Andrew Bailey is considered a favourite for the post. On Saturday, a Times article said pro-Brexit economist Gerard Lyons had been ruled out of the running due to his inexperience in running a large financial institution.
Today, MPs including SNP Commons leader Ian Blackford and Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesperson Ed Davey called on Javid to publish the list of potential candidates.
In their letter, the MPs said: “With so much at stake, it’s crucial that the appointment of the next governor is made on merit, not narrow political expediency.”
The MPs said publishing the list would allay fears that Javid was considering a broad range of candidates. MPs and Positive Money raised concerns that Javid might “install a political ally who did not otherwise make the shortlist”.
“At a time of such political uncertainty, it is inadequate to allow this decision to be made by the Chancellor behind closed doors. The country must be able to trust that the next governor is the best person for the job and will work in the public interest.”
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