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UK Politics

Cable talks down Brown's IMF hopes

Gordon Brown's prospects of taking over at the IMF suffered another blow today as Business Secretary Vince Cable suggested the top job should go to someone from within the Eurozone.

Asked about the vacancy at the crucial body following Dominique Strauss-Kahn's departure, Mr Cable refused to comment directly on whether the former prime minister would be a suitable candidate.

But the Liberal Democrat told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think promoting national champions, whoever they are, probably isn't the best way of dealing with this.

"The IMF is dealing with a major economic crisis in Europe. They need somebody very effective and respected.

"Particularly somebody who understands the internal problems of the Eurozone. That is probably where the new head of the IMF will come from.

"If it doesn't, someone from the eastern Asian countries who has had a very successful record in economic management."

Mr Brown's former City minister, Lord Myners, also dismissed the idea that he should take over at the IMF.

He told BBC Radio 4's the World at One there was "no shortage" of good candidates from outside Europe.

"The grip that the Americans have had on the World Bank and the Europeans on the IMF needs to stop," he said.

"We need to accept the new reality that other parts of the world are now contributing a significant proportion of global wealth."

Asked whether his ex-boss would be suitable, Lord Myners replied: "I think a number of people have said the time is not right for Gordon to put his name forward and I tend to agree that that is right.

"I think it should be a non-European."