Brown still FDs’ no 1.

Link: Pre-Budget report 2002

The economy may be on the brink of a downturn, but most finance directors have more faith in Gordon Brown seeing us through the troubles than anyone else.

Nearly two in three of the 400 FDs polled for this week’s Accountancy Age/Reed Business Personnel Big Question said the chancellor is the best person for the job. Only 18% said someone else could do better.

Some were keen to lavish praise on the man who has so far kept a tight rein on UK finances. One financial director said that Brown was ‘simply the best chancellor of the past 40 years. He has been instrumental in bringing a level of stability to the economy, which is in marked contrast to previous incumbents.’

Another commented: ‘ He certainly has the financial know-how and clout to see it through, the uncertainty is how much the party will support him.’

But others who offered support were more reserved in their assessment of his performance. Jonathon Kempton, FD at Le Gavroche, said: ‘It’s his advisors (who have the know-how). He hasn’t a clue.’

Several FDs complained about the lack of choice. Mike Paull, FD of Actel Europe, said: ‘I don’t have great faith in his abilities, but no-one else could do it better.’ Another FD agreed: ‘I don’t like Gordon Brown but who else could take his place?’

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