Legislative Council of the Isle of Man

Legislative Council
Yn Choonceil Slattyssagh
Stephen Rodan
Since 19 July 2016
Seats 11
Indirect election
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Isle of Man

The Legislative Council (Manx: Yn Choonceil Slattyssagh) is the upper chamber of Tynwald, the legislature of the Isle of Man. It is often referred to as "LegCo".

It consists of eleven Members (MLCs):

The MLCs are elected by the House of Keys by secret ballot for a term of four years. Four retire every two years, so four MLCs are elected at a time. An MLC must be at least 21 years old and resident in the Isle of Man.

Formerly, the Lieutenant Governor presided over the Legislative Council and over Tynwald Court (a joint session of the Council and the House of Keys). Now, however, the President of Tynwald, who is chosen by the whole Tynwald for a six-year term, is the ex officio President of the Legislative Council, and presides over both the Legislative Council and Tynwald Court, except that the Lieutenant Governor presides once a year on Tynwald Day.

Furthermore, the Church of England Bishop of Sodor and Man and the Attorney General appointed by the Lord of Mann have seats on the Legislative Council. The Bishop is a voting member, the Attorney General is a non-voting member, and the President has the casting vote.

The Council does not normally originate legislation (the last Act originating from the Council was the Sharing of Church Buildings Act 1986). Instead, it reviews legislation from the House of Keys.

The Council, being elected by the MHKs themselves, does not have significant authority in Tynwald.

2016 Review of the Functioning of Tynwald

For many years there has been considerable debate about the functioning of Tynwald, and specifically about the composition, method of election, and functions of the Legislative Council. In the past, a number of reforms were made in the composition of the Legislative Council, which are set out below. In 2016 Lord Lisvane was asked to carry out a review of the functioning of Tynwald. Among his recommendations were:



The original function of the Legislative Council was executive (i.e. giving advice to the Lieutenant Governor) and its membership was entirely appointed, as follows:

The first seven were Crown appointments and the last two appointments by the Bishop. Reforms were slowly made to reduce the number of judicial and religious appointments and these members were slowly replaced by indirectly elected members.

1917 reform

In 1917, the Judicature (Amendment) Act introduced by the Legislative Council removed Clerk of the Rolls from the composition of the Council. It then consisted of the following members:

1919 reform

In 1919, The Archdeacon; the Vicar General; and the Receiver General were removed as ex officio members of the Council by the Isle of Man Constitution Amendment Act 1919. The members were thus:

1961 reform

Replaced an appointed member by an elected member.

1965 reform

The Second Deemster lost his seat in the Council. The members were thus:

1969 reform

The Isle of Man Constitution Act 1969 removed the two appointed members of the LegCo. The members were thus:

1975 reform

The First Deemster lost his seat in the Council, by virtue of the Isle of Man Constitution (Amendment) Act 1975. The members were thus:

1980 reform

The Lieutenant Governor was removed as Presiding Officer and replaced by an indirectly elected President of the Legislative Council. The Governor still presided at joint sittings of Tynwald. The members were thus:

1990 reform and current composition

The Lieutenant Governor is removed as Presiding Officer of Tynwald and replaced by a member of Tynwald elected by the Members of the court (i.e., the High Court of Tynwald) as President of Tynwald. The President of Tynwald is also a member of the Legislative Council and presides at its sittings. The members are thus:

The non ex officio members are elected by the House of Keys for terms which end at the end of February following the fourth anniversary of their election.


Name Position Tenure Replacing
Steve Rodan President of Tynwald
Elected Member
Since 2016
Clare Christian
Rt Rev. Robert Paterson MA Bishop of Sodor and Man Since 2008 Graeme Paul Knowles
Stephen Harding QC Attorney General Since 2011 John Corlett
Geoff Corkish Elected Member Since 2013 David Callister
Michael Coleman Elected Member Since 2013 Edmund Lowey
Alan Crowe Elected Member
Elected Member
Since 2007
Brian Barton
Leonard Singer
Dudley Butt Elected Member Since 2005 Dominic Delaney
Alex Downie Elected Member Since 2005 Ray Kniveton
Juan Turner Elected Member Since 2007 Donald Gelling
Phil Braidwood Elected Member Since 2010 George Waft
Tony Wild Elected Member Since 2011 Clare Christian
David Callister Elected Member 2008-2013 Pam Crowe
Edmund Lowey Elected Member 1982-2013 George Swales
Leonard Singer Elected Member 2003–2006 Alan Crowe
Arthur Christian Luft Attorney General
Elected Member
Ian Anderson
John William Corrin Attorney General 1974–1980 Arthur Luft
Thomas William Cain QC Attorney General 1980–1993 Jack Corrin
Michael Kerruish QC Attorney General 1993–1998 William Cain
John Corlett QC Attorney General 1998–2011 Michael Kerruish
Graeme Knowles Bishop of Sodor and Man 2003–2008 Noël Jones
Donald Gelling Elected Member 2002–2007 Norman Radcliffe
Clifford Irving Elected Member 1987–1995 Matty Ward
Noel Cringle President of Tynwald 2000–2011 Sir Charles Kerruish
Sir Charles Kerruish President of Tynwald 1990–2000 Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson Elected Member
President of the Legislative Council
Elected Member
Geoff Crellin
Jack Nivison
[new position - elected member 8]
Jack Nivison Elected Member
President of the Legislative Council
Alfred Teare
[new position]
Joseph Qualtrough Elected Member & Receiver General 1919–1933 New position
Joseph Cunningham Elected Member 1919–1924 New position
R C Cain Elected Member
& Receiver General (1934–1950)
1919–1924 Joseph Cunningham
John Robert Kerruish Elected Member 1919–1924 New position
William Southward Elected Member 1919–1943 New position
Geo Drinkwater Appointed Member 1919–1920 New position
Richard Barton Quirk Appointed Member 1919–1942 New position
Sir John Bolton Appointed Member
Elected Member
John Crellin
Henry Nicholls
G C Gale Elected Member 1964–1966 Ewan Farrant
Ffinlo Corkill Elected Member 1966–1974 G C Gale
Major Geoffrey Crellin Elected Member 1975–1982 New position
Norman Crowe OBE JP Elected Member 1970–1978 Cecil McFee
Captain John Crellin OBE MC JP Appointed Member 1943–1962 Daniel Teare
Betty Hanson Elected Member 1982–1988 Alfred Simcocks MBE
Robert Kerruish Elected Member 1970–1985 ?
Victor Kneale Elected Member 1974–1981 Hubert Radcliffe
Roy MacDonald Elected Member 1978–1985 Norman Crowe
Cecil McFee ? 1962–1971 ?
Alec Moore Elected Member 1979–1985 William E Quayle
Henry Nicholls Elected Member 1958–1970 Joseph Callister
William E Quayle Elected Member 1970–1978 [new position]
Willy Quirk Elected Member 1987–1993 Dr Edgar Mann
Norman Radcliffe Elected Member 1985–2002 Roy MacDonald
Percy Radcliffe Elected Member 1980–1985 Sir John Bolton
Alfred Simcocks MBE Elected Member 1974–1982 Ffinlo Corkhill
George Swales Elected Member 1982–1982 Victor Kneale
Matthew Ward Elected Member 1985–1987 Alec Moore
Arthur Attwell Bishop of Sodor and Man 1983–1988 Vernon Nicholls
Noël Jones Bishop of Sodor and Man 1989–2003 Arthur Attwell
Vernon Nicholls Bishop of Sodor and Man 1973–1983 ?
George Moore First Deemster 1969–1974 ?
Sir Ralph Stevenson GCMG CP JP Appointed Member 1955–1970 ?
William Watson Christian?1848–1867?
Rev. William Christian?1883–1187?
William Quirk?1887–1893?
William AndersonReceiver General1894–1909John Cowell
John CowellReceiver General1909–1919?
John Goldie-TaubmanAppointed Member1921–1924 Geo Drinkwater
Edward CallisterElected Member 1921–1931 John Robert Kerruish
John ClucasAppointed Member1924–1928 John Goldie-Taubman
Frank DagleishElected Member1931–1946 Edward Callister
Charles Gill Elected Member 1934–1954 Arthur Crookall
Arthur Crookall Elected Member 1934–1935 Joseph Qualtrough
Joseph CallisterElected Member 1946–1958 ?
Ewan FarrantElected Member1954–1964 ?
Hubert Radcliffe?1963–1974 ?


Year Election Previous members Candidates Elected
2013 Scheduled
2011 Elevation of President of Tynwald
2011 Resignation of the President of Tynwald
2011 Resignation of the Attorney General
2010 Scheduled
2008 Scheduled
2008 Change in Lord Bishop
  • N/A
2007 Resignations
2005 Scheduled
2003 Scheduled
2003 Resignation of the Lord Bishop
  • N/A
2002 Death
2000 Scheduled
2000 Resignation of the President of Tynwald
1998 Attorney General promoted to First Deemster
  • N/A
1998 Scheduled
1993 Scheduled
  • Brian Barton - 15 votes
  • Norman Butler - 7 votes
  • Clare Christian - 17 votes
  • J A S Christian - 8 votes
  • Edmund Lowey - 14 votes
  • Arthur Luft - 16 votes
  • Charles Cain - 6 votes
  • R Rawcliffe - 5 votes
  • R B M Quayle - 8 votes
1919 Constitutional reform
  • Joseph Qualtrough
  • Joseph Cunningham
  • John Kerruish
  • William Southward
  • ?
  • Joseph Qualtrough (Keys electee)
  • Joseph Cunningham (Keys electee)
  • John Kerruish (Keys electee)
  • William Southward (Keys electee)
  • George Drinkwater (Governor's appointee)
  • Richard Quirk (Governor's appointee)

Coordinates: 54°09′03″N 4°28′56″W / 54.15083°N 4.48222°W / 54.15083; -4.48222

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