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Leading article: Betty Boothroyd for Barclays chairman?


With Barclays still rocking from the Libor scandal, and more than £3bn wiped off its value, shareholders are unsurprisingly keen for an outsider to replace Marcus Agius, the outgoing chairman. The bank needs a clean break, not least so that it – and the Serious Fraud Office – can get to the bottom of the wrong-doing.

Best of all, however, would be a chairman drawn, not just from outside Barclays, but from outside the traditional world of non-executive directorships altogether. And, given the dominance of Bob Diamond revealed at the Treasury committee this week, the key quality to look for must, surely, be strength of character.

There are any number of possibilities. General Sir Mike Jackson, say, to keep the troops in line. Or what about Betty Boothroyd, with her background as Speaker to draw on? Or The Apprentice's no-nonsense Margaret Mountford? Or perhaps Camila Batmanghelidjh, for a real breath of fresh air?