Britain's Cameron scorns Brown for IMF chief

19th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday his predecessor Gordon Brown may not be an "appropriate" person to lead the International Monetary Fund, adding that an Asian candidate may be better.

Cameron, whose Conservative-led coalition is making harsh cuts to tackle Britain's record deficit, said he did not want a "washed-up politician" and pointed to the record of Brown's previous Labour government.

"It does seem to me that if you have someone who didn't think we had a debt problem in the UK when we self-evidently do have a debt problem, then they might not be the most appropriate person to work out whether other countries around the world have debt and deficit problems," he told BBC radio.

"It's very important that the IMF is led by someone extraordinarily competent and capable."

The British premier said having a candidate from outside the West would help the IMF "increase its standing in the world."

"We've got the rise of India and China and Southeast Asia, a shift in the world's focus, and it may well be the time for the IMF to start thinking about that shift in focus too," he added.

All 10 of the IMF's managing directors have come from Europe, thanks to a gentleman's agreement that also sees the World Bank headed by Americans.

Brown, who spent a rocky three years as British prime minister before being ousted in a elections in May 2010, has previously been tipped to head the IMF.

Current head Dominique Strauss-Kahn is due to step down in November 2012 but has hinted he may quit earlier to stand in next year's French presidential election.

© 2011 AFP

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