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Mervyn King faces vote defeat in his last meeting

Sir Mervyn King will bring down the curtain on 16 years of rate-setting this week as he chairs his final meeting of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee (MPC).

The outgoing Governor, who hands over to Canadian Mark Carney at the end of June, is the last-remaining, ever-present MPC member since the Bank was granted operational independence by Gordon Brown in 1997.

His last meeting is virtually certain to see the Governor repeat his call for an extra £25bn in quantitative easing (QE) to support growth. Sir Mervyn, along with colleagues Paul Fisher and David Miles, have been pushing for the extra stimulus, but they are again likely to be outvoted by a six-strong majority unwilling to sanction further money-printing.

Interest rates have been on hold at 0.5 per cent since March 2009 and the MPC has pumped £375bn into the economy.

Sir Mervyn's voting record puts him among the committee's more hawkish members, with 30 votes to raise rates against 23 to cut over the past 16 years, compared with the MPC's 18 rate hikes and 26 reductions during the period. But since the financial crisis the Governor has switched into the dovish camp, with more frequent votes for QE.