Bank chief quits over `foolish' affair

`If you are going to dump, don't dump a financial journalist if you are Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. That's dumb' - Mary Ellen Synon `I want to avoid the possibility of the Bank being damaged by foolish mistakes that I made, albeit more than a year ago' - Rupert Pennant-rea

BThe Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Rupert Pennant-Rea, resigned yesterday over his extra-marital affair with a female journalist.

Mr Pennant-Rea said in his resignation letter to the Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, that he was resigning "with great regret" to avoid the possibility of the Bank being damaged by "some foolish mistakes that I made, albeit more than a year ago".

Mr Pennant-Rea quit his £180,000-a-year post after details of his affair with the journalist Mary Ellen Synon were published in the Sunday Mirror.

The Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, said in a statement yesterday that Mr Pennant-Rea's resignation was a matter of "deep personal regret".

Ms Synon revealed in a classic kiss-and-tell report last Sunday how she and Mr Pennant-Rea, 47, had made love on the carpet of Mr George's dressing room at the Bank. Since the confessions, the City has been braced for his departure, with senior banking sources saying he had no alternative but to go.

The Prime Minister, John Major, was told about the resignation yesterday morning, but his office dismissed as "speculation" suggestions that Mr Pennant-Rea had been forced out over the Bank's mishandling of the Barings collapse.

In his resignation letter, Mr Pennant-Rea criticised newspaper coverage of the affair. "I thought that Britain would benefit from greater job mobility between the private and public sectors . . . But I do know that many good people in the commercial world are put off by the tabloid intrusion into the private lives of those in public positions."

Replying to the letter, Mr Clarke wrote: "I am very sorry indeed that you have decided to resign . . . You have done an exceptional job as Deputy Governor."

Ministers and Labour leaders reacted with surprise and outrage. Ministers privately said it was wrong for Mr Pennant-Rea to have resigned over his affair. "It's getting ridiculous. It seems there's a policy of one bonk and you are out," said one minister.

A senior government source said: "I am not aware of any [such] policy. Frankly, the Square Mile would be depopulated."

Mr Pennant-Rea was reported to have begun a relationship with Ms Synon, 44, four years ago. Ms Synon, speaking on Irish radio from a secret hiding place, was yesterday unrepentant.

"If you are going to dump," she said, "don't dump a financial journalist if you are the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. If he had even been vaguely nice about this, I would probably have cooled off in 20 minutes. But the fact that he was . . . vicious about it just made me very angry. And nothing could be angrier than an Irish-American financial journalist who has been badly treated."

Mr Pennant-Rea's wife, Helen, backed his decision to resign, saying that he had paid "a high price" for staying with his family.

Reading from a statement on the doorstep of her home in Parsons Green, west London, she said: "I support and respect my husband's decision to resign from the Bank," she said. "His relationship with Ms Synon ended over a year ago and Rupert told me about it then. Over the last year we have endeavoured to rebuild our marriage . . . Rupert has paid a very high price for taking the right decision and staying with us . . ."

`Reliable' Rupert, page 3

Leading article, page 18

Next in line, page 32

City comment, page 33

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup