The embattled head of England's central bank, Mark Carney, has announced he would stay in office a year longer than first planned. Many UK politicians have accused the Canadian of fearmongering over Brexit fallout.
Carney said he would be "honored" to extend his term and leave the post in June 2019, according to a letter to Finance Minister Philip Hammond which was published on Monday.
The Bank of England governor is Canadian and the first foreigner to run the institution in its 322-year history. Before taking office in 2013, Carney pledged he would serve only five years instead of the usual eight, citing family reasons.
"Since then, my personal circumstances have not changed but other circumstances clearly have, most notably the UK's decision to leave the European Union," he said in the letter. By staying an extra year, Carney aims to "help contribute to securing an orderly transition to the UK's new relationship with Europe."
Banker under fire for 'political' statements
At the same time, many pro-Brexit voices criticize Carney for his positions on Brexit and its fallout. Specifically, several representatives of the ruling Tories claim he jeopardized the Bank's purported neutrality by warning of dire economic consequences ahead of the "Leave" victory.
These allegations have fueled speculation about Carney's future, with some analysts expecting he would step down as early as mid-2018. Others called on him to serve a full eight-year term in order to provide stability.
May backs Carney
Carney met UK Prime Minister Theresa May before announcing his decision on Monday. May's spokeswoman later said the Prime Minister was "clear in her support for the governor" and "absolutely" believed he was the best man for the job.
After receiving the governor's letter, Hammond said he was "very pleased" with his decision to stay on.
"This will enable you to continue your highly effective leadership of the bank through a critical period for the British economy as we negotiate our exit from the European Union," Hammond wrote.
"I am grateful for your contribution to both monetary and financial stability to date, and I look forward to your continuing contribution in the future."
dj/kl (dpa, Reuters, AFP)