(Bloomberg) -- The Bank of England’s new chief economist ran into criticism on social media for suggesting he brings diversity to policy making from having once worked with Otmar Issing, the famously hawkish German central banker.

“I do think I bring diversity on other dimensions,” Huw Pill, who joined the central bank last month, told the Financial Times. “I’m not sure there are many other members of the MPC who would want to be identified as an acolyte of Otmar Issing whereas I am quite proud to be identified as that.” 

Pill, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, is a former European Central Bank official who worked there when the former Bundesbanker was its chief economist. 

Former BOE economist Tony Yates said the comment was “a bit trite” given “the importance of the civil rights aspect of diversity [who is being thwarted on their journey to the top]” 

Dario Perkins, managing director for global macro at TS Lombard, said that there was no “shortage of concern about fiscal ‘responsibility’ & inflation expectations” among policy makers. 

The BOE has already been at the center of the diversity debate. Just two members of its policy-setting panel are women, even though the nine-person shortlist for the chief economist role was composed of five women and four men.


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