HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 c119W
Mr. Kenneth Clarke

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he authorised the giving of a speech by his principal special adviser, Mr. Ed Balls, in Leeds on 3 February which included comments on the policy behind setting the level of interest rates; and whether the authorisation of such a speech on the day before a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England complies with the Government's policy on the independence of the Bank and the proper conduct of monetary policy. [153775]

Ruth Kelly

[holding answer 9 February 2004]: The Chief Economic Adviser's speech reiterated the Government's long-standing position on monetary policy as set out most recently by the Chancellor in his 18 June 2003 speech to the Mansion House and is consistent with the Bank of England Act 1998.