Guernsey

Sark leaders urged to address Barclay brothers tension

  • 19 January 2014
  • From the section Guernsey

Campaigners have called for Sark's government to step in and ease tensions in the community.

Tony Le Lievre, chair of Sark Action for Families and Employment, warned the tiny island's economy could suffer.

He spoke after a recent report by the UK's Ministry of Justice warned of a "difficult atmosphere" on the island.

Businessmen Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, who have a significant investment on Sark, believe local legislation discriminates against them.

Economy 'really important'

Sark adopted a new constitution in 2008, ending feudal practices and introducing democracy, but the Barclay twins have argued that further change is necessary.

Concerns have been raised by the UK's Justice Select Committee over the ongoing political conflict in Sark.

In a report the committee found there was a "very difficult atmosphere" on the island because of tension between the Barclay brothers and Chief Pleas, the island's government.

Mr Le Lievre said: "How can we sort out of economy when our taxes are spent on a dispute between two parties?"

He said the Chief Pleas "need to take the first step and come forward".

He continued: "We need to concentrate on what is really important for Sark and that is the economy.

"I would like to think we are all adult enough to sort out our problems and take Sark forward."

The Chief Pleas welcomed the report, saying it acknowledged the work it had made since establishing what it said was a fully democratic government.

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