Nick Clegg: Barclays buck stops at the top
Monday 02 July 2012
Nick Clegg today ramped up the pressure on Bob Diamond by indicating he believed the Barclays chief executive should follow lead of the bank's chairman, Marcus Agius.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he had "no problem with more inquires" into what went wrong with the industry after Labour called for a Leveson-style investigation.
Mr Clegg sidestepped calls to directly demand Mr Diamond's resignation, insisting it was not for politicians to hire and fire bankers.
But, during a visit to a school in east London, he insisted the buck stopped at the top.
He said: "I'm like everybody else in this in that now that the chairman of Barclays has fallen on his sword and has taken responsibility for what has happened, everybody is asking when are the other senior people at the top of Barclays going to take responsibility for the things that happened on their watch.
"I don't think it is for politicians to individually hire and fire bankers, but I do think the buck stops at the top."
Mr Clegg accused Labour of "rank hypocrisy" for demanding a public inquiry into banking when it had launched a "prawn cocktail charm offensive" on the City during its time in power.
"I have no problem with the idea of more inquiries into what's gone wrong in our banking system," he said.
"We have had a whole lot in the past.
"We are now getting on with repairing the damage done to our banking system.
"I'm totally open to having more looks at what happened in the banking system.
"But I really do think it is rank hypocrisy of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to trawl themselves round the television studios in this pious way, pretending that somehow they know what the answer is when it all happened on their watch.
"Ed Balls was on a prawn cocktail charm offensive in the City of London, sucking up to the banks, which is one of the reasons it's all gone wrong in the first place."
Mr Clegg later told CBBC Newsround British banks were now a "source of embarrassment and shame".
He said: "People at the top of these big banks who earnt lots of money, they had these big fat bonuses when things went well.
"They have also got to take the rough with the smooth, they have also got to be responsible when things go wrong on their watch."
He added: "The banks used to be the jewel in the crown of our country and now they are source of embarrassment and shame."
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...