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Treasury minister lied to MEA committee - claim

Former chief executive of the Manx Electricity Authority Mike Proffitt says Treasury Minister Allan Bell lied during his evidence to a Tynwald Select Committee.

He was appearing before the investigation into the Manx Electricity Authority’s unauthorised borrowings.

At today's public hearing, Mr Proffitt said evidence he had deliberately suppressed financial information about the building of Pulrose Power station was untrue.

He claimed he had provided as much information as had been requested and couldn’t explain why Treasury officials were unhappy.

Jason Roberts reports (text, below, from attached audio file):

Mr Proffitt read an hour-long statement to the five-strong select committee, covering his time at the MEA between 1997 and 2004.

He said the MEA couldn’t have followed financial regulations because of the nature of the power station contract, but had offered alternatives to the Treasury which had been accepted.

And he refuted suggestions he had kept officials in the dark as costs began to grow beyond the original £185 million estimates.

But when he was asked to respond to suggestions by the Treasury Minister that he was personally responsible for bad relations between the authority and government, he said "that’s a complete and utter lie".

The select committee resumes next Thursday.

Clip 1

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