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Andrew Bailey sets new date to meet Tory MPs

Tom Rees
·1-min read
Bailey
Bailey

The Bank of England’s Governor has rearranged a rare meeting with backbencher Tory MPs after postponing the private event amid concern over Threadneedle Street's independence from Westminster.

Andrew Bailey will appear in front of the 1922 Committee next Wednesday after raising eyebrows for initially scheduling the meeting for just hours following Rishi Sunak’s mini-Budget.

The Governor cancelled the event just two days before the Chancellor’s speech, which set out plans to spend billions of pounds more to aid the economic recovery. 

Critics have claimed the Bank’s independence has been eroded by its coordinated response to the Covid-19 crisis with the Treasury. The Bank has been buying billions of pounds of government bonds under its quantitative easing programme, supporting the huge borrowing conducted by the Treasury and sparking accusations of monetary financing – when central banks fund state spending directly.

Economic Intelligence newsletter SUBSCRIBER (article)
Economic Intelligence newsletter SUBSCRIBER (article)

A spokesperson for the Bank said on the rearranged meeting: “As part of the Bank’s regular engagement with political representatives, the Governor will meet with members of the 1922 Committee on Wednesday 15 July to explain the Bank’s current analysis on the economic impact of Covid-19 and listen to their views.”

While the Bank’s rate-setters have played down fears over weakening independence, former deputy governor Sir Paul Tucker said it has been put under threat by the massive money-printing operations that have supported higher public borrowing.

“In the UK the question is whether the Bank of England still exists and whether it has now reverted to being the operational arm of the Treasury,” he said.