Simon English: Why Tucker is a front-runner

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The Independent Online

Outlook Should Paul Tucker become the next Governor of the Bank of England, succeeding Sir Mervyn King?

The firm view from the Square Mile is that he should (another common view from the City: anyone, anyone at all, would be preferable to Lord Turner, also a front runner).

If you want to argue that the deputy governor should not be chosen precisely because he is the City's man, that's understandable.

If you think the financial district is so tainted by wrong-doing that a clean broom is needed, that's a reasonable view.

But the advantage of Mr Tucker is precisely that he understands bankers, knows how they think, and can see when they are trying it on and when they may have a point.

Bank chief executives feel comfortable telling Mr Tucker things, and we presumably want the Governor to be as well informed as it is possible to be.

The supposed strike against Mr Tucker is that he seems implicated in the Libor fixing scandal – he got his fingers dirty.

An alternative reading is that he was willing to get in at the deep end when it mattered most. If interest rates were tinkered with a little in order to avoid another global financial meltdown, surely that was the right call.

Perhaps Mr Tucker was unwise to email Barclays' Bob Diamond in ways that indicated chuminess. On the other hand, if people are going to be ruled out of jobs on the basis of foolish emails later regretted, the entire nation is very quickly going to become unemployable.

Paul Tucker has been in training to lead the Bank of England for most of his adult life.

He should be given the position he deserves.