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  1. ITV Report

Bank of England governor will stay on for an extra year to smooth the Brexit process

Mark Carney said he would be extending his term at the bank Credit: PA

The Bank of England's governor has announced that he will extend his term in office to help smooth Britain's departure from the EU.

Mark Carney said that would now remain in charge of the country's central bank until the end of June 2019 in a letter to the Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The Canadian had the option to remain in the key role until 2021, but has opted not to take up the full eight-year term.

Mr Carney has been under growing political pressure to quit from pro-Brexit MPs and campaigners who said that he had been too vocal in support of the EU.

Today he said that he had decided to extend his time at the head of the bank to ensure continuity and stability as Britain leaves the EU under the Article 50 process.

By taking my term in office beyond the expected period of the Article 50 process, this should help contribute to securing an orderly transition to the UK's new relationship with Europe.

– Mark Carney
Mr Carney will remain at the head of the Bank of England until June 2019 Credit: PA

The announcement comes after fevered speculation over Mr Carney's future.

He had faced calls to step aside after throwing his lot in with the 'remain' camp in the run-up to the referendum and claiming that Brexit supporters were "in denial" over the economic risks of a Brexit.

Prime Minister Theresa May earlier today said that Mr Carney was "absolutely" the right man to lead the bank as she sought to reduce pressure on him.

Mr Carney's decision means he will cover the full two-year period of Britain's Brexit negotiations, if Mrs May stands by her pledge to trigger Article 50 by the end of March next year.

Responding to the governor's letter, Mr Hammond said he was "very pleased" that Mr Carney had taken the decision to serve until the end of June 2019.

He added: "This will enable you to continue your highly effective leadership of the Bank through a critical period for the British economy as we negotiate our exit from the European Union.

"I am grateful for your contribution to both monetary and financial stability to date, and I look forward to your continuing contribution in the future."