Hedge Fund Critic To Leave Top U.K. Economic Post

Feb 2 2009 | 1:51am ET

John McFall, the British legislator who called in several leading hedge fund managers in for a grilling last week, will step down as head of the influential Parliamentary committee he has led for nine years.

McFall, a member of the U.K.’s governing Labour Party, will leave as chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee after the country’s next general election, which must occur by early next year. As chairman, McFall has used his bully pulpit to push for stronger regulation of hedge funds. Last week, he brought The Children’s Investment Fund Management chief Chris Hohn and Marshall Wace’s Paul Marshall before the committee for questioning on the industry’s role in the financial crisis.

“There is a view that what the industry is really doing is snubbing the public and not just that, but you're making shedloads of money out of taxpayers at a time when every single penny that taxpayers put into institutions should be preserved,” he said at the hearing.

“I’m not departing through lack of enjoyment or tiredness,” McFall told The Times of London. “It’s just that nine years will be enough.”

If the opposition Conservative Party wins the next general election—which opinion polls indicate is likely—the chairmanship is likely to go to Michael Fallon, a Tory who has served on the committee for a decade.

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