NEWS
02/07/2012 10:14 BST

Nick Clegg Raises Pressure On Barclays Boss Bob Diamond

Nick Clegg today ramped up the pressure on Bob Diamond by indicating he believed the Barclays chief executive should follow lead of the bank's chairman, Marcus Agius.

The Deputy Prime Minister said he had "no problem with more inquires" into what went wrong with the industry after Labour called for a Leveson-style investigation.

Mr Clegg sidestepped calls to directly demand Mr Diamond's resignation, insisting it was not for politicians to hire and fire bankers.

But, during a visit to a school in east London, he insisted the buck stopped at the top.

He said: "I'm like everybody else in this in that now that the chairman of Barclays has fallen on his sword and has taken responsibility for what has happened, everybody is asking when are the other senior people at the top of Barclays going to take responsibility for the things that happened on their watch.

"I don't think it is for politicians to individually hire and fire bankers, but I do think the buck stops at the top."

Mr Clegg accused Labour of "rank hypocrisy" for demanding a public inquiry into banking when it had launched a "prawn cocktail charm offensive" on the City during its time in power.

"I have no problem with the idea of more inquiries into what's gone wrong in our banking system," he said.

"We have had a whole lot in the past.

Clegg warned the Barclays chief executive that "the buck stops at the top"

"We are now getting on with repairing the damage done to our banking system.

"I'm totally open to having more looks at what happened in the banking system.

"But I really do think it is rank hypocrisy of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to trawl themselves round the television studios in this pious way, pretending that somehow they know what the answer is when it all happened on their watch.

"Ed Balls was on a prawn cocktail charm offensive in the City of London, sucking up to the banks, which is one of the reasons it's all gone wrong in the first place."

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