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David Davis to answer my question? Jun 12

I’ve been wondering recently what would happen, procedurally, if an MP resigned and then stood in the by-election they caused.

Members of Parliament can’t resign from the seats, so they have to take another job that disqualifies them. For example, Boris Johnson sparked the Henley by-election by becoming Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead. When an MP defects between parties, it’s often suggested that they should resign and fight a by-election to get a new mandate (not that this ever happens). So I was wondering how they could fight a new by-election if they held an office that disqualified them from sitting as an MP. Presumably, they would have to take the office, then resign it again and leave it vacant (and I’m not sure these offices are ever usually vacant). Or someone else, not an MP, would have to take over.

Tory MP David Davis is planning to quit as an MP and fight a by-election. He’ll take the Chiltern Hundreds, succeeding Tony Blair. But who will replace him? Will he resign from that office? These are important questions, folks.

6 Responses

  1. 1

    Actually I think it’s much simpler – an MP may not accept a paid crown office while he is an MP, but he can be elected whilst holding a crown paid office. ie it disqualifies you if you are already an MP but doesn’t disqualify you from standing in an election.

    When cabinet ministers used routinely to resign and trigger a by-election on appointment this was a similar situation.

  2. 2

    The precadents would be Billy McCrea and Enoch Powell who were the last Ulster Unionists to resign their seats in December 1985 in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement only to be re-elected the following month.

  3. 3

    A bit of research suggests that if David Davis will have to seek to be “released” from the post if he wants to be able to retake his seat and no-one has succeeded him by that time.

    In the event of his forgetting to do that, the Speaker and the House of Commons have a certain amount of leeway to get it sorted and let him take the seat.

  4. 4

    what is the first day of the week?

  5. 5

    how long does it take for a peice of chewing gum (when thrown on the floor) to disintegrate completely?

  1. […] David Davis, in wasting thousands of pounds of taxpayers money in a farce of a by-election, has answered my question. Sadly, his answer is exceedingly pedestrian and is revealed in the Treasury press release that […]