The German government said it has not decided who it wants to succeed Christine Lagarde as the next head of the International Monetary Fund amid reports it is backing Bank of England boss Mark Carney.

Government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said that Germany “would wish for a qualified European candidate”.

She denied reports that Germany and France have agreed to support departing BoE governor Mr Carney, who is Canadian but who recently became a British citizen too.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel later said that Europeans lay claim to nominating the next IMF chief, but said such positions would not be decided solely based on a candidate’s “geographical origin”.

Ms Lagarde has been nominated to lead the European Central Bank, replacing Mario Draghi.

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