Stripping BoE independence would be a 'very bad mistake', Brown says

FILE PHOTO: Bank of England (BoE) building seen in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Former British prime minister Gordon Brown said on Monday that the Bank of England had been slow to raise interest rates but he said suggestions that the central bank could lose its independence would be "a very bad mistake."

Brown was the finance minister who granted the BoE its operational independence over monetary policy in 1997. Liz Truss, the frontrunner in the race to become the next prime minister, has criticised the Bank and vowed to review its remit.

"I think they have been slower in raising interest rates when it was in our interest to get a grip on inflation quickly but that's not to say, as Liz Truss and others seem to be saying, that we should remove the independence of the Bank of England," Brown, from the Labour Party, told LBC Radio.

"Anybody who says that we should give up on independence of the Bank of England would be making a very bad mistake".

(Reporting by Muvija M; writing by Kate Holton; editing by William Schomberg)