Third MPC member votes for rate rise

Dale and Weale both voted to raise rates to 0.75%, while Sentence voted to increase rates to 1%. The remaining six members of the MPC voted to keep rates on hold at 0.5%.

Another MPC member, Adam Posen, voted to re-start quantitative easing.

Christina Weisz, a director at foreign exchange specialist Currency Solutions, said: "As the initial currency reaction suggests, the fact that a third member has now voted for a rise will be a boost for Sterling. Saying that, it is also important to remember that there are still divisions in the committee. This is not conclusive evidence that a rate rise will happen in the near future, although the minutes do point towards a rise by 'early summer'.”