Carney and Vote Leave in war of words over EU vote

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Bank of England governor Mark Carney has sent an angry letter to a senior figure in the Vote Leave campaign which has accused Carney of breaching purdah rules in the run-up to the referendum.

The BBC reports it has seen an exchange of letters between Vote Leave director Bernard Jenkin MP and Carney over whether the Bank of England had made its views known on whether the UK should vote to stay or leave the European Union.

Jenkin wrote: “You have already made your views known about the question of the forthcoming referendum.

“The concern is that you, as governor of the Bank of England, or others who serve the Bank, may have occasion to make further public comment on matters arising from the question on the ballot paper for the referendum.

“You are prohibited from making any public comment, or doing anything which could be construed as taking part in the referendum debate.”

Jenkin went on to sat he had taken legal advice and wanted to “stress the importance of this matter.”

He added: “I very much hope you will avoid doing anything which could suggest you or the Bank have disregarded Parliament’s wishes.”

Carney has responded saying he has not made his views known on the referendum.

In his letter, Carney says: “Nor do I intend to share my private opinion other than via the anonymity of [the] ballot box when I join millions of others to cast my vote.”

“All of the public comments that I, or other Bank officials, have made regarding issues related to the referendum have been limited to factors that affect the Bank’s statutory responsibilities and have been entirely consistent with our remits.”

He adds Jenkins’ letter “demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of central bank independence.”

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