Bell says he won’t seek a legal review of NI Fund expenditure on consultants

Allan Bell

Allan Bell

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The Chief Minister has ruled out seeking legal advice retrospectively for a controversial decision to spend National Insurance money on a review of social security.

The leader of the Liberal Vannin Party, Kate Beecroft MHK (Douglas South), asked Allan Bell whether he would get an independent legal opinion on the legal vires of the appointment of Ci65 Limited as consultants for the second phase of the social security and National Insurance review and circulate it to all Tynwald Members prior to the debate on the report issued by the Public Accounts Committee.

Mr Bell’s succinct response was: ‘I do not intend to obtain independent legal opinion.’

The Manx Independent revealed that the Public Accounts Committee had been highly critical of the Council of Ministers’ conduct over the matter.

Click here for a reminder of that story.

Answering supplementary questions, Mr Bell said an independent legal opinion had been sought in respect of the Sefton loans only because the Acting Attorney General was conflicted in that matter.

There was no such issue in respect of Ci65 and so no reason not to take advice from the Acting Attorney, he said.

The Sefton loans affair cost one minister his job.

More on this story in Thursday’s Manx Independent.

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