Brown Denies Job Change

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Gordon Brown yesterday denied that he is about to step down as Prime Minister, adding that there is ‘no possibility of a job called Global Regulator’.

Brown told his monthly press conference that newspaper reports talking of his stepping down were just ‘gossip’.

He insisted that his priority was to help Britain through the recession.

Brown was questioned on reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was seeking to get him to leave Downing Street to head a new global financial regulation body.

Downing Street also stepped in to deny the claim as ‘utter nonsense’, adding that the UK government had been pushing instead for closer cooperation between national regulators.

Defending Brown, Skills Secretary John Denham told the BBC that the cabinet was more concerned with taking the ‘right decisions’ to deal with the economy.

Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on Home Secretary Jacqui Smith over her claiming second house allowances for the use of her Redditch family home which she claims is not her main home.

Smith has said she will ‘answer any questions’ that Parliament’s Standards Commissioner John Lyon has about her £116,000 second home expenses.

But Lyon has accepted a complaint against Smith, which could lead to a full inquiry.

Lyon has previously turned down two requests to investigate Smith over her decision to designate her sister’s house in London, where she stays when she is in the capital, as her main home.

The decision has enabled her to claim at least £116,000 in second home allowances, since becoming an MP.

l The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee minutes of its meeting on February 4th and 5th reveal members voted 9-0 to seek approval from the government to boost the supply of money in the economy, otherwise known as quantitative easing.

In his letter to Chancellor Darling, Bank of England governor Mervyn King acknowledged: ‘Given its remit to keep inflation on track to meet the two per cent target in the medium term, the projections published by the Committee today imply that further easing in monetary policy may well be required.

‘That is likely to include actions aimed at increasing the supply of money in order to stimulate nominal spending.’

The bank is expected to print money by the end of March.