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Chief Minister defends Sefton bailout

The Chief Minister insists the Manx government’s decision to bailout the struggling Sefton Group is purely a hard-nosed economic decision.

On Friday, a £4.5 million rescue package was announced, including an immediate loan of £1.3 million to prevent the company going under.

The Sefton Group employs 300 people in the Island’s tourism, leisure and construction sectors.

Allan Bell says committing public money is never done lightly but is in the overall interests of the taxpayer and will protect jobs.

And he dismissed suggestions that political favours played a part – East Douglas MHK Chris Robertshaw used to run the Sefton Hotel, while the chairman of the Sefton Group is former Chief Minister Sir Miles Walker.

Trading on the Stock Exchange will resume this morning (Monday). Shares in the company were suspended on Friday following the announcement of the deal.

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