U.K. Business Secretary Greg Clark backed Mark Carney to stay in his job after newspaper reports that the Bank of England governor may announce within the next few days that hes stepping down.
I think Mark Carney has done a tremendous job, a fantastic job during his tenure, Clark told BBC Televisions Andrew Marr Show on Sunday. I was the financial secretary to the Treasury when he was appointed, and I think it was a brilliant appointment.
Speaking to a House of Lords committee on Tuesday, Carney deflected questions on whether he plans to service out a full eight-year term as governor through to 2021, saying its an entirely personal decision that wont be a reflection on U.K. government policy. Hes pledged to clarify his stance by the end of the year.
Prime Minister Theresa May is keen for Carney to stay on and has sought to smooth over misunderstandings with him, including criticism of loose monetary policy in a speech at her Conservative Party conference at the start of this month, according to officials. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has publicly said hed welcome Carney staying on.
Still, the governor has been the target of attacks by prominent Tories who have criticized him for keeping interest rates low and of inappropriately siding with the Remain campaign in the run-up to the June 23 Brexit referendum. Iain Duncan Smith, Nigel Lawson, William Hague, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Michael Gove have all publicly chastised the Canadian-born governor, with some even saying he should step down.
Both the Times and Mail Online reported on Saturday that Carney may announce a decision within days. The Bank of England declined to comment on the reports.