The Department of Home Affairs says plans to bring in Scottish prison officers had nothing to do with importing so-called 'scab labour'.
A row has broken out between workers at the new jail in Jurby about mileage allowances to and from the new site.
The department has withdrawn a recent 40p a mile offer made to prison officers, and says it’s unfair to compare that to those business expenses claimed by politicians.
But in a statement, it says recent plans to bring Scottish officers to the Island had nothing to do with the dispute.
The department says the seconded officers would have freed up local officers, and helped with training and prisoner transfers.
It says having the extra staff from off-Island would have helped the prison become operational more quickly.
But it rejects suggestions the Scottish workers would have been used to help resolve the mileage dispute with the union Prospect and the Prison Officers Association.
The statement says it’s regrettable that such a connection was drawn.
(Picture: The new prison at Jurby).