EU referendum: Brexit MP claims Bank Of England Governor Mark Carney sent him 'aggressive' letter

'He's trying to make a distinction that the Bank of England does not run on public funds, even though it's a publicly owned corporation,' claims Bernard Jenkin MP

Emma Clark
Thursday 16 June 2016 10:47
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Mr Carney has insisted his economic warnings were independent of politics and Mr Jenkins has made 'numerous and substantial' misconceptions
Mr Carney has insisted his economic warnings were independent of politics and Mr Jenkins has made 'numerous and substantial' misconceptions

A leading Leave campaigner has received an "aggressive" letter from the Bank of England governor in a row over his intervention in the EU campaign.

Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, a director of Vote Leave, wrote to Mark Carney last month claiming he had broken purdah rules by giving a personal endorsement to the Remain campaign.

Mr Carney, who has warned that leaving the EU could spark a recession, has responded by accusing Mr Jenkin of threatening him and misunderstanding the independence of the bank.

The EU referendum campaign is currently in a period of purdah, which bans civil servants from any activity that could be perceived to be biased to one side of the campaign.

Mr Jenkin said Mr Carney's intervention has gone "way beyond what a bank governor would normally do in terms of making statements about rate setting and economic forecasts" .

He told BBC Radio 4's Today show: "He's reacted very, very aggressive towards me.

"He's trying to make a distinction that the Bank of England does not run on public funds, even though it's a publicly owned corporation.

"The advice I have from the Speaker's Counsel is that there appears to be no exemption for the Bank of England."

Mr Carney has insisted his economic warnings were independent of politics and the MP has made "numerous and substantial" misconceptions.

Appearing to back away from his accusations, Mr Jenkin added: "It's for him to judge how political he wants his institution to be perceived as.

"There is no doubt that the appearance he made on the Andrew Marr programme went way beyond what a bank governor would normally do in terms of making statements about rate setting and economic forecasts.

"I obviously misconstrued that because in my letter to him I said he had made his views clear that he wants the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union."

Labour ex-chancellor Alistair Darling condemned the stance of Mr Jenkin.

"This is a blatant attempt to muzzle a respected independent voice. The Bank of England is independent, the Governor is independent and he has a duty to say what he thinks.

"It is very clear the Leave campaign doesn't want people to hear what the Bank has to say on the most critical issue facing our generation because they don't like its conclusions."

Press Association

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