Monday 18 December 2017

‘Arrogant and stupid bankers’ exposed in former British Chancellor’s book

David Hughes

Former chancellor Alistair Darling has attacked "arrogant and stupid" bankers in his memoir of life in 11 Downing Street.

Mr Darling was scathing about some of the senior figures at financial institutions at the time of the crash, claiming former RBS chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin "deserved to be a pariah" for refusing to give up his pension after taking the lender to the brink of collapse.

He described Sir Fred's attitude to the crisis as in keeping with someone "off to play a game of golf", according to extracts from the book reported on the Labour Uncut website.

In Back From The Brink: 1,000 Days At No 11, Mr Darling said: "My worry is that they (the bankers) were so arrogant and stupid they might bring us all down."

Mr Darling described former HBOS chief executive Andy Hornby as "looking like he was about to explode" when faced with the scale of what had occurred.

The book is also set to give an insight into former prime minister Gordon Brown's "brutal and volcanic" demeanour.

According to Labour Uncut, Mr Darling singles out shadow chancellor Ed Balls and former business minister Baroness Vadera who, as key allies of the former prime minister, were running what amounted to a parallel Treasury operation within government.

He also confirms that Mr Brown tried to force him out of No 11 in 2009.

Offered a more junior Cabinet role, Mr Darling threatened to walk out of government. Mr Brown, severely weakened by the economic crisis and plummeting poll ratings, relented and let him remain as chancellor.

Atlantic Books, which is publishing Mr Darling's account, refused to comment on the Labour Uncut story.

A Sunday newspaper has been signed up to serialise extracts this weekend.

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