Page last updated at 13:33 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Jersey support for 'sister' Sark

Sir David (l) and Sir Frederick Barclay
The Barclays have numerous business interests in Sark

Politicians in Jersey have said they will be supporting the 140 people in the "sister" Channel Island of Sark who face losing their jobs.

It follows the closure by the multi-millionaire Barclay brothers of their numerous businesses on Sark.

The brothers had indicated they would withdraw investments if candidates endorsed by them were not elected earlier this week.

There is no social security in Sark which has just under 500 inhabitants.

'Commercial suicide'

In Jersey, politicians were asked to show their support by Senator Ben Shenton.

He told Jersey States: "I think this would be a fitting for the chamber to send a clear message of support to our sister island at these times."

The Bailiff, Sir Philip Bailhache said he would write to his equivalent, the Seneschal, Lt Col Reg Guille, in Sark on Friday.

Sark's feudal system came to an end this week when inhabitants took part in full election to its governing body, the Chief Pleas.

Twins Sir David and Frederick Barclay, owners of London's Ritz Hotel and the Daily Telegraph newspaper, put up the shutters on their Sark investments after the majority of candidates they had backed for the new 28-member chamber failed to win election.

Kevin Delaney, business manager for Sark Estate Management, which runs the Barclay's Sark interests, told BBC News that by electing candidates mainly opposed to radical reforms, the people of Sark "have effectively written the longest commercial suicide note in human history."

The Barclays live in a mansion on Sark's neighbouring island of Brecqhou, which they bought in 1993.

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