Lord Faulks, brother of acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks, has taken over responsibility for the Crown Dependencies in the UK’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
And there is some relief in the Manx government that the role hasn’t been taken by tax haven critic Simon Hughes, Lib Dem deputy leader, who has also been appointed to the MoJ as part of a mini-reshuffle.
Chief Minister Allan Bell said he is looking forward to working with Lord Faulks. The Conservative peer and distinguished lawyer takes over from Lord McNally who Mr Bell said had been a ‘good friend’ to the Isle of Man over many years.
He said: ‘Lord McNally has been outstanding in his support and understanding of the Isle of Man during his three and a half year tenure.
‘Lord Faulks is a very active member for the House of Lords and he is likely to bring a great deal of enthusiasm and understanding to the role.’
Mr Bell said: ‘Simon Hughes has been a strong critic of the Isle of Man for quite some time and we were concerned if he were to take over we might have seen a change of emphasis in the level of support we have had in the MoJ.’
The MoJ manages the Westminster government’s constitutional relationship with the Crown Dependencies and has been instrumental in building a better understanding of the Isle of Man among MPs and in Whitehall.
Lord McNally’s new appointment is as chairman the UK Youth Justice Board.
Mr Bell said: ‘I have spoken to Lord McNally to wish him well in his new role and to convey my personal gratitude, and that of the Isle of Man, for his support. He put in a considerable amount of hard work on our behalf at a time when the Crown Dependencies were subject to unprecedented external scrutiny. His openness and willingness to engage, no matter how difficult the issue, has been most appreciated.
‘The relationship between the Isle of Man and UK governments is the best it has been for some time and I look forward to working with Lord Faulks to build on those solid foundations.’