Deputy and the dawgs

Merv King may have done himself some justice with his stirring defence against the hounds of the Treasury Select Committee, but his deputy, Sir John Gieve, didn’t get off so lightly. As the man responsible for financial stability and a member of the board of the Financial Services Authority, he really felt the power of their bite.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010
John McFall, the committee’s chair, accused Gieve of being ‘asleep in the back shop while there was a mugging out front’, saying that he should have spotted the problems long before they got so bad. He also derided Gieve’s rescue attempts as ‘the equivalent of screaming “fire” in a crowded cinema’. Of course, Gieve’s performance is that of the good deputy – taking a pasting so that his boss can get on with the job.

Gieve has never been one to duck a challenge. He was, of course, previously permanent secretary of the Home Office – hardly the kind of position you take up if you want to pass leisurely workdays with your feet up on the desk. Indeed, only last year he was hauled up for a similar grilling – this time from the Commons home affairs committee following the scandal over the release of foreign prisoners. What was Gieve’s response? Admitting that he should have spotted the problem earlier and taken more of an interest.

Here’s our profile of Gieve from happier Home Office days.

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