Decision on Venezuelan gold is for Bank of England, not government: UK junior minister

LONDON (Reuters) - It is a decision for the Bank of England whether to give Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro access to gold reserves it holds, British junior foreign office minister Alan Duncan said on Monday.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaido has asked British authorities to stop Maduro gaining access to gold reserves held in the Bank of England, according to letters released by his party on Sunday.

“I am aware of the letter,” Duncan told parliament. “The Bank of England holds a significant amount of Venezuela’s gold ... this is a decision for the Bank of England, not the government. It is they who have to make a decision on this but no doubt they will take into account when they do the fact that a large number of countries across the world are now questioning the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro and recognizing that of Juan Guaido.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, editing by Elizabeth Piper