Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If appointed, he shall not serve

House of Commons today, Questions to the Prime Minister --

Mr Nigel Dodds (Belfast North) (DUP): The Prime Minister may be aware that one of the Members elected to this House has decided to emigrate, and he may want to chalk that up as one of his achievements. The hon. Member for Belfast West (Mr Adams) seems to be extremely embarrassed about applying for an office for profit under the Crown although he has shown no such embarrassment in profiting from his office in this House for many years at taxpayers’ expense. When will the Prime Minister deliver on his pre-election pledge to hard-pressed taxpayers that he will abolish parliamentary money for parliamentary purposes going to those who do not fulfil their parliamentary duties?

The Prime Minister: First of all, just in case everyone has not caught up with the news, the right hon. Gentleman is quite right that the hon. Member for Belfast West has accepted an office of profit under the Crown, which is of course the only way to retire from this House. I am not sure that Gerry Adams will be delighted to be a Baron of the Manor of Northstead, but none the less, I am pleased that tradition has been maintained. On the very serious point that the right hon. Gentleman makes about allowances, in my view we should be aiming for all Members who are elected to take their seats in this House. That is what should happen and if some Members have a problem with what that entails, they ought to look at a remedy for that and should come and talk about it. That is the most important thing we could achieve.

Incidentally, Gerry Adams claims that his only correspondence with the House was as follows --

A chara, I hereby resign as MP for the constituency of west Belfast. Go raibh maith agat. Gerry Adams

Photo: General William Tecumseh Sherman, 1865, via Wikimedia commons.

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