Will leaver get Bank of England job? Brexiteer economist Gerard Lyons tipped to become next Governor


Will a leaver get Bank of England job? Brexiteer economist Gerard Lyons tipped to become next Governor

Brexit-backing economist Gerard Lyons is the bookies’ favourite to become Bank of England governor, as Boris Johnson looks to appoint allies in positions of power.

Lyons worked at Standard Chartered bank for more than a decade before serving as Johnson’s chief economic adviser during his time as mayor of London.

The 58-year-old is now 6-4 favourite with Betway to succeed Mark Carney when the Canadian leaves Threadneedle Street in January. 

Gerard Lyons worked at Standard Chartered bank for more than a decade before serving as Boris Johnson's chief economic adviser during his time as Mayor of London

Gerard Lyons worked at Standard Chartered bank for more than a decade before serving as Boris Johnson’s chief economic adviser during his time as Mayor of London

It puts Lyons ahead of previous top contender Andrew Bailey, head of the Financial Conduct Authority, who is now 11-4.

Lyons has long been a staunch believer in Brexit, claiming it will allow the country to forge more open trade agreements with the rest of the world and strike out on a more prosperous future.

That is in stark contrast to Carney, who has faced repeated criticism from Eurosceptics for warning that leaving the EU could have severely negative consequences.

But there will be questions about whether Lyons’ experience is broad enough. Widely respected as an economist, he has no experience of running a regulator.

This could be seen as a weakness, as the Bank’s job is increasingly focused on supervising major lenders and insurers to protect the financial system.

Appointing Lyons would mark a change of tack at the Bank. 

Chancellors have traditionally sought to hire governors based on their experience in central banking rather than political views.

Matt Kilcoyne, of the pro-free market Adam Smith Institute, said: ‘This would send a message that the Bank of England has moved from being apolitical to becoming a battleground.’ 

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