Bank of England should NOT choose white scientist to be the face of the new £50 note says Treasury minister
- Treasury minister Robert Jenrick said the new note should reflect society
- Crimean war nurse Mary Seacole who was born in Jamaica is on the shortlist
- The godfather of fibre optics Sir Charles Kuen Kao has also been nominated
- Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will announce the winner in the summer
The scientist pictured on the new plastic £50 note must not be white, MPs have urged.
They want the Bank of England to use someone from an ethnic minority to ‘ensure that wider diversity is represented’.
MP and Tory vice-chairman Helen Grant wrote to Bank governor Mark Carney about the fact there has never been a non-white face on a bank note.
Campaigners are urging the Bank of England to consider Mary Seacole or Charles Kuen Kao as the face of the new £50 note. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the final decision would be made in the summer
Treasury minister Robert Jenrick, pictured, said: ‘The new £50 note should symoblise our values as a country’
‘The Bank has a duty to ensure wider diversity is represented on our currency,’ she said.
‘There have only been four women in history on bank notes and no ethnic minorities.
‘Undoubtedly, the absence of ethnic minorities from UK bank notes sends a damaging message that they are invisible and have done nothing of significance in our history.’
Treasury minister Robert Jenrick told the Daily Telegraph: ‘The new £50 note should symbolise our values as a country.’
Potential contenders include Mary Seacole, a British-Jamaican nurse in the Crimean War and Charles Kuen Kao, the godfather of fibre optics.
Mr Carney will choose the scientist to feature on the note from a shortlist. The name will be announced in the summer.
The Bank said it ‘takes its commitment to diversity seriously’.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the announcement of the new face on the bank note would be made over the summer
Who are the faces of current British notes?
£5: The polymer £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill entered circulation on 13 September 2016
£10: The new polymer £10 note, featuring Jane Austen, entered circulation on 14 September 2017
£20: The current £20 note features the economist Adam Smith. It will be replaced by one featuring landscape painter JMW Turner in 2020