History as Eddie homes in for show with Ken

History will be made tomorrow afternoon. The United Kingdom's monetary policy will be set outside central London for the first time - in Ken Clarke's Rushcliffe constituency in Nottingham, to be precise.

An anodyne diary note put out by the Treasury on the Internet yesterday alerted the world to the time the monthly monetary meeting between the Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England would start (3.15pm). It forgot to mention the fact that Eddie George and his retinue of Bank officials would be travelling to the Midlands to fit in with Kenneth Clarke's busy schedule.

Tomorrow's meeting will be the 48th between Mr Clarke and Mr George, and could be the last if the Conservatives lose the general election. It will be the first to take place outside the shabby splendour of the Treasury's Whitehall offices since the new monetary arrangements were introduced in 1992.

It is for no reason of protocol that this month's session has quit Whitehall. Although ministers revert to being prospective parliamentary candidates during the election campaign and lose their automatic right of access to their departments, they continue to be ministers. A Treasury room could easily have been made available.

However, the Chancellor's diary is uncommonly busy. Rather than disrupt the continuity of the process by which interest rates are set, the entire show from the Bank and Treasury will decamp from London to Mr Clarke's home turf.

A Treasury spokeswoman stressed that the meeting would take place in a suitable venue, a publicly owned, secure building just outside the boundaries of Mr Clarke's constituency. "It will not be in a party building. I don't know how big the Chancellor's constituency office is, and it's certainly not going to take place in his house."

At least holding the meeting in Nottingham will permit Mr Clarke the rhetorical flourish of being able to point to some actual manufacturers when he talks about the damage the strong pound is doing to exports. For the rise in sterling back above its floor of DM2.78 in the European exchange rate mechanism - though it edged back down below it yesterday - will be his excuse for turning down Mr George's advice to raise interest rates. As far as the City is concerned, this is the foregone conclusion of the meeting.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering