Lord Gus O'Donnell Hints At Becoming Bank Of England Governor

Posted: 3/05/2012 13:00 Updated: 3/05/2012 13:00

The former head of the civil service, Lord Gus O'Donnell, has said he would be interested in becoming governor of the Bank of England when Sir Mervyn King steps down next year.

Lord O'Donnell, who served as cabinet secretary under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron, was a lecturer in economics before he joined the Treasury in 1979.

In an interview with The House Magazine published on Thursday, Lord O'Donnell, known as G.O.D during his time at the top of the Whitehall machine, said he would make a decision "nearer the time".

"It’s a fascinating job, it’s a huge job, it’s a much bigger job than Mervyn’s doing at the minute. You’d need to think about how you manage that and what support you’d need," he said.

"I haven’t made up my mind about this yet. The process hasn’t even started yet.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, the current governor, Sir Mervyn King said his successor faced a challenging time.

He said the present crisis was "far from over", as the eurozone debt crisis demonstrated on a weekly basis, while the UK's economy was still not back to health and inflation still too high.

Sir Mervyn added that dealing with the consequences of our "bad banking situation" is likely to be "a long, slow process" and "the crisis has cast a long shadow".

While he refused to be drawn on who he would like to take over the top job at the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn did indicate he thought it would be a good idea to pick another academic like him.

"I don't think i have been too academic a knowledge of financial history has been crucial to understanding this crisis i wish i had turned to it sooner

"I think if you look at kind people who are central governors abroad ... its not the case that the rest of the world is turngin to banker as opposed to people who have thought deeply about the underlying issues."

FOLLOW UK POLITICS

Filed by Ned Simons  |