City & Business: Sterling work, Eddie

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Tony Blair has been quicker to endorse my campaign to keep Eddie George as Governor of the Bank of England than Gordon Brown. But surely even the Chancellor must come round to my way of thinking in the wake of last week's sterling performance from Mr George.

Not only did the Governor reaffirm the fight against inflation with a quarter-point rise in increase rates; he also orchestrated a fall in the pound. This is something only a man of Mr George's integrity and standing could achieve.

The Governor is acutely aware of the damage the strong pound is doing to exporters. He is also aware of the damage which would be inflicted not just on exporters but on all businesses if spiralling inflation was allowed to push up their costs. A strong pound makes exporters less competitive. High inflation makes all British businesses uncompetitive.

The Governor's words brought welcome relief to exporters as the pound fell. This was achieved without undermining the credibility of the Government's commitment to keep the lid on inflation.

Mr Blair is backing the Governor. When Mr Brown returns from his holiday, he should do the same.