Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Updated: Will Boris relieve Peter Mandelson of his onerous duties today?

Updated: Sorry I conflated two roles - It's the Steward and Bailliff of the Manor of Northstead which Boris will apply for, and that role is currently held by Peter Mandelson(!). Tony Blair continues to beaver away as doubrey-feature for the Chiltern Hundreds. Thanks to Gavin Whenman and Jock Coats for the correction.

If you were wondering, the manor of Northstead is what is now the Barrowcliff area of Scarborough in Yorkshire. See photo above of the Barrowcliff Hotel.

It's at times like these when I do a few searches on matters of procedure. Looking at Unlock Democracy's briefing paper on the Commons, if there is to be a Henley by-election on 26th June, it is today (or was it yesterday?) that Boris Johnson will have to write to Alistair Darling (as Chancellor the job is in his gift - imagine the job interview!) to apply for Tony Blair's job as Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham, and of the Manor of Northstead (Tony Blair is the holder because he was the last person who applied for it to occasion a by-election).

Then the writ has to be moved. Reading a Commons research document, this has to be done 15-19 working days before election day (depending on the date for nominations which is set by the returning officer).

If Boris doesn't apply for his new job today, then the next date available for the by-election would be 3rd July - now that really would be fun. The middle of the Henley Regatta! Traffic jams and Pimms O'Clock all round on polling day!

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