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Campaigners call for the first female Bank of England Governor

Russell Lynch

Gender equality campaigners called for the first female Bank of England Governor in more than 300 years on Thursday to help address a lack of women in economics.

The Treasury has formally launched the hunt for a replacement for Mark Carney, to take up the £480,000 role next February.

Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society campaigning charity, said: “As well as putting more women on bank notes, including women of colour, let’s have a woman in the top job.”

Academic Victoria Bateman - who recently protested naked on television against Brexit - said the post should go to “the best person for the job - regardless of gender”.

But she added: “I would like to imagine a future in which it wasn’t a rarity for women to take the lead at central banks... At present, there is a real paucity of women at all levels in economics.”

Rachel Reeves, chair of the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, called for a gender-balanced shortlist. The MP said: “There have been 120 Governors of the Bank of England and none have been women. It’s high time the Government ended this trend.”