The chairman of the Steam Packet, Lars Ugland, has written to Tynwald members to raise concern over what he sees as an increasing level of political interference in the company.

In a letter sent to all Tynwald members prior to Tuesday’s October sitting, it states that the company has received several requests for information which have asked for the disclosure of commercially sensitive information.

The relationship between Tynwald, the government and the Steam Packet is controlled by the ‘Sea Services Agreement’, which allows the company to operate at ‘arms-length’ from the government while delivering a return on taxpayers’ investment.

However, Mr Ugland says he has concerns over ‘increasing levels of political interference in the company’.

Mr Ugland wrote: ‘Recently, the company has been asked to respond to no less than six questions relating to the detailed operations of the company.

‘The board has determined to respond in a manner consistent with an arm’s length company.

‘It has therefore declined to disclose any information which it believes is not in the best interests of the company or the shareholder.

‘To act otherwise would be to compromise the existing governance framework.

‘The board believes that the company is best served by an arm’s length relationship with the government.’