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Is he or isn’t he

January 27th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Irish Politics

While Gerry Adams says he received an apology from David Cameron regarding the Prime Ministers statement that the West Belfast MP had applied for the post of Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, it appears that Mr. Adams is indeed a man with the new job whether he applied for it or not and will have to resign this post (or maybe he’ll keep it!).

Late last night in the House of Commons the Speaker John Bercow issued a statement.

I can inform the House that I have received formal notification from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that Gerard Adams has been appointed to be steward and bailiff of the Manor of Northstead. Under the terms of section 4 of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975, for the purposes of the provisions of this Act relating to the vacation of the seat of a Member of the House of Commons who becomes disqualified by that Act from membership of that House, the office of steward or bailiff of Her Majesty’s three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham, or of the Manor of Northstead, shall be treated as included among the offices described in part III of schedule 1 to the Act.

The hon. Member for Belfast West is therefore disqualified from membership of the House by virtue of section 1 of that Act.

The Conservative Leader of the House replied in a manner which said that his Boss Mr. Cameron did not intentionally mislead the house.

The Leader of the House of Commons (Sir George Young): May I reiterate what you have just said, Mr Speaker? Of course my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister would never intentionally mislead the House. The House will be aware that the only way to enact a resignation is to appoint the person to one of the relevant positions. The Prime Minister was aware of the process to appoint Gerry Adams to be steward and bailiff of the Manor of Northstead. It might have been better for my right hon. Friend to have said “is being appointed” instead of “has accepted”, and I am happy to make that clarification for the record.

I assume Gerry Adams will be resigning his new post forthwith and we can refer to him as the former Baron, Crown Steward and Bailiff of Manor of Northstead. I look forward to the statement from Sinn Fein with a copy of the resignation letter.

George Lee and Martin Cullen had it easy. And they say the Seanad is antiquated?

Many thanks to AQ for the quotes from the record.


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