Islands’ MP Criticises Lord Berkeley Over Duchy Bill

Andrew George, MP

Andrew George, MP

The Islands’ MP has criticised a Private Members Bill that’s seeking to strip the Duchy of Cornwall of its special status.

Lord Tony Berkeley, a frequent visitor to Scilly, has tabled the Bill and he’s hoping to present it during the next session of Parliament beginning in May.

But Andrew George says elected MPs representing Scilly and Cornwall haven’t been consulted by the Labour peer. And he says Lord Berkeley hasn’t “fully thought through the consequences of what he is proposing.”

Andrew says the Duchy should make far greater efforts to be more transparent and accountable but feels the Bill has been prompted to settle a score, rather than for the interests of the local people.

The Bill has already had two readings in the House of Lords but has a long way to go before it becomes law.

If that does happens, it would force the Duchy to pay income and capital gains tax and give their tenants the right to buy their leaseholds.

It would also get rid of some more obscure rules, like the Duchy’s right to the estates of people who die in Scilly without a will and heirs.

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