Tuesday, June 09, 2009

First Snouter officially resigns - Ian Gibson

Ian Gibson has officially resigned by being appointed to be the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham.

He is the first snoughter to actually resign, despite the fact that there are much worse troughers than him stil in the Stys of Commons. A by-election in his constituency should be interesting but don't wait in bated breath for it to happen any time soon as Labour will no doubt delay it as long as possible.

The position of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds is now used as a procedural device to effect resignation from the House of Commons, as British MPs are not permitted simply to resign their seat. This legal anomaly dates back to a resolution of the House of Commons of 2 March 1624, passed at a time when MPs were often elected to serve against their will.
As an instrument of resignation, the role is usually alternated with that of Steward and Deputy Steward of the Manor of Northstead in Yorkshire. Under the Act of Settlement, any Member of Parliament accepting an office of profit under the Crown must give up his or her seat. An MP applies for the office to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who usually then signs a warrant appointing the now former MP. The Chancellor can in theory deny an application, although the last time this happened was to Viscount Chelsea in 1842. The appointee holds the office until such time as another MP is appointed, or they apply to be released.

David Marshall is the current holder of th Manor of Northstead, he resigned because of "ill health".

Three Hundreds of Chiltern - HM Treasury

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