Nathalie Thomas: First it was the prince, now it's a King in firing line from Wikileaks

PRINCE Andrew owes Mervyn King a favour. The Bank of England governor has taken the heat off the Duke of York and his alleged diplomatic gaffes in Kyrgyzstan by making a few of his own - and this time the criticism is much closer to home.

King is the latest figure in the public eye to come unstuck by Wikileaks, the maverick website which is taking governments and public bodies to task by publishing a raft of explosive cables from US diplomats - covering every subject from Iran's nuclear capabilities, to His Royal Highness's supposedly "cocky" and "rude" behaviour.

Yesterday's? revelations centred on King, who for the second time in a week has been landed in hot water for expressing overtly political views - territory that is strictly off limits for Bank governors.

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According to correspondence sent by Louis Susman, the US ambassador in London, to Hillary Clinton, King privately laid into David Cameron and George Osborne for their "lack of experience" prior to the general election.

During a meeting with Susman, the governor also attacked the pair of Oxford graduates for a lack of depth in their inner circle and for viewing everything through a political lens.

They "had a tendency to think about issues only in terms of politics, and how they might affect electorability", King is said to have crowed.

The jackals have already leapt on the governor's back, with David Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank's monetary policy committee, leading calls for his resignation last night.

It's well known that Blanchflower, who stood down from the committee last year, is no friend of his former MPC colleagues.

For a number of months prior to the recession, he was a lone voice in calling for sharp and swift interest rate cuts to fend off a deep downturn. His advice went unheeded until it was too late and Blanchflower has not since been shy in telling King: "I told you so."

But it now appears to be open season on the governor, with Blanchflower last night telling one website that King's "thirst for power and influence" had "clouded his judgment one too many times".

While Prince Andrew appears to have got away with a little bit of public humiliation and a rap on the knuckles from Business Secretary Vince Cable, King is unlikely to be so lucky.

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The Wikileaks revelations come just a week after Adam Posen, a current MPC member, told Westminster's Treasury select committee that King had made "excessively political" comments shortly after May's general election - in that month's inflation report and accompanying press conference.

Posen's attack was curious given that it was delivered six months after the event. Why not speak out earlier?

If King went home last night with conspiracy theories swirling around his mind, few would blame him.It may just be a case of bad luck that he has come in for criticism twice in such a short space of time but there's a feeling that the vultures are circling. Let's hope for his sake that everything doesn't come in threes.

Stuck in the 1950s, our leading companies may need a prod

ANOTHER year and another set of disappointing results on diversity in company boardrooms. The Cranfield School of Management's annual survey of women in FTSE 100 directorships shows a painful lack of progress, with only 12.5 per cent of board positions occupied by females - a laughable 0.3 per cent increase from last year.

If you read the full report by Ruth Sealy and Susan Vinnicombe, it's easy to forget we're in 2010 and not still stuck in the 1950s.

What is perhaps more blood-boiling than the actual figures, however, is the fact that this report follows a raft of efforts by both the previous Labour government and bodies such as the Treasury select committee to tackle the difficult issue of female representation in management roles.

It wasn't long ago that we listened to former equalities minister Harriet Harman talk about how a "Lehman Sisters" wouldn't have suffered the same fate as Lehman Brothers.

The Equality Bill has turned into the Equality Act and yet where are we? Nowhere if today's report from Cranfield is anything to go by.

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Earlier this week, a government consultation on "Women on Boards" closed for evidence but something tells me that this time next year we'll be in no better position.

Many British women are, in principle, against compulsory quotas that are used in countries such as Norway to improve diversity at the highest levels.

But softer approaches such as mentoring schemes, women-only networking events and the like have come to almost nothing.

With everything else failing, is it time for plan B and harsher measures?