Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK has announced that he has reluctantly accepted the resignation of the Minister for Economic Development John Shimmin MHK following further discussion with the Minister.
Mr Bell explained: ‘My primary concern throughout has been the protection of the economy, because that is what generates jobs and revenue for the people of the Island. That is why Government supported the Sefton Group in the first place, and why I initially declined the Minister’s resignation, because I was keen to maintain momentum and continuity in the development of the economy.
‘However, it is clear from further discussion with Mr Shimmin that he feels his role is untenable and he can no longer be confident of the political support necessary for the Department of Economic Development to progress its strategy. He believes he must step down as Minister so the Department can get on with its vital work on behalf of the Isle of Man without the hindrance of political controversy.
‘Mr Shimmin’s priority in this matter, like mine, is to do what is best for the Island, its economy and people. I have now been able to talk to him in more depth as there was no opportunity to do so earlier this week. I understand his position and with some reluctance have accepted his resignation as Minister for Economic Development.
‘In doing so I pay tribute to John Shimmin for his determination to do the right thing in the Island’s national interest and for his dedicated work in leading the Department. I know that he has earned the respect and support of the business community, but I give my assurance that a change of Minister will not mean a diminution in my Government’s commitment to economic development as a national priority.’
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