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Bank of England will consider diversity in £50 note decision

DIVERSITY: Mark Carney has written to campaigners who are calling for someone from an ethnic minority background to feature on the £50 note

THE BANK of England governor Mark Carney has said that diversity will be considered when choosing who will appear on the new £50 note.

Campaigners have called for Mary Seacole to be featured on the note, which will make her not only the first black person to appear on a British banknote but the first ethnic minority to do so.

Among those pushing for someone from a black or minority ethnic background to be the face of the new banknote is Conservative MP Helen Grant.

Grant wrote a letter to Carney, which was signed by more than 100 politicians from various parties, appealing to him to choose an ethnic minority.

Responding to a letter from Grant, Carney said: “The Bank takes its responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010, and particularly the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), extremely seriously. The members of the Banknote Character Advisory Committee are all made fully aware of the importance of consciously considering the PSED, and diversity more generally., throughout the character selection process, including in selecting the field from which character nominations will be sought.”

He also wrote: “I can assure you and your cross-party colleagues that for both the £50 and any future issues of banknotes, the Bank will properly consider all protected characteristics, and seek to represent on its banknotes characters reflecting the diversity of British society, it’s culture and its values.”

Although Carney said the Mary Seacole, one of the shortlisted candidates, could appear on the note, he also said that there will be no change to the current list that the committee are considering.

There are 989 shortlisted candidates for the note, the majority of which are white and male. Around 10 are from BAME backgrounds.

A social media campaign, #BanknotesOfColour has been created to urge the Bank of England to put someone from an ethnic minority background on the note.

The decision of who will appear on the banknote will be announced this summer.

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