Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 17-06-2014

Government acted illegally over Sefton loan

by Joanne Clague

Government acted illegally over Sefton loan - picture

Economic Development Minister John Shimmin has offered to resign over the Manx Government's bailout of the Sefton Group.

The loans would probably be found to be illegal if they were tested before a court, according to independent legal opinion.

Chief Minister Allan Bell has offered his own 'sincere apologies' to Tynwald.

Treasury Minister Eddie Teare read out a statement on behalf of the Chief Minister in the Manx parliament this morning. He said: 'The Minister for Economic Development has very honourably tendered his resignation to me this morning but I have decided not to accept it. It is clear to me that the Minister acted in good faith in the best interests of the Island’s economy and its people.

'On the understanding that he has offered a full and sincere apology to myself, the Council of Ministers and to Tynwald, I am not going to forward his resignation to His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor.

'I would also like to add my sincere apologies to this Honourable Court and those of my colleagues in the Council of Ministers. I hope Honourable Members will agree that the maintenance of continuity and confidence in developing the Island’s economy is an absolute priority at this time, and that we cannot afford to lose momentum at this critical stage.'

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