Adams obeys the rules, takes an office of profit under the Crown

David Cameron has just told Nigel Dodds MP and the Commons:

You may not have caught up with this yet but the member for West Belfast has just accepted an office of profit under the Crown. I’m not sure he will be delighted to become a baron of the manor of Northstead….. We are aiming for all members to take their seats. If any of them have a problem, they should come and talk about it.

Dodds had asked a question about SF abstentionism, This seems to have been a device to allow Cameron the break the news.

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  • Cynic2

    …the Queen’s Shilling prevails. Arise Baron Gerry.

    It will be a knighthood soon

  • Mick Fealty

    Arise Lord Falls, the slightly constitutionalist peer (after Fortnight magazine)?

  • dwatch

    So when are we to have a by-election in West Belfast?
    Will it be before the election next month in the ROI?

  • SimpsonInBangor

    So much for Sinn Fein’s boast that he would most certainly not be taking an office of profit under the crown.

  • Brian Walker

    “We don’t give a toss ” a SF spokesman had memorably said, ” it’s all made up by men in tights anyway.”

    Why the dramatic and unexpected change of mind? A desire not to hold up indefinitely the writ for the West Belfast by-election?

  • pippakin

    As the parliamentarian he has not been but is almost certainly about to become – he did the right thing.

    Twitter seems to love SF at the minute but I can’t decide if the overall ‘vote’ is for or against.

  • Mark McGregor

    I’m guessing the Speaker forwarded the letter to the treasury and Adams didn’t actually apply for or accept any such thing.

  • pippakin

    Mark McGregor

    I think you are probably right. I would be surprised if he or anyone has the power to prevent innocuous name calling.

    BTW, and this is me saying it (times is hard), is it not time you started blogging again?

  • Cynic2

    “men in tights”

    ….SF homophobia? Surely not!

  • Cynic2


    Are you alleging that the Prime Minister lied in PMQs? That would be a very serious issue ….to cover Gerry’s backside? I think not.

  • Cynic2

    By the way, Sinn Fein’s own website still lists him as an MP

    I assume there’s still an internal fight going on over the wording of the website outlining his capitulation to British Tradition and tje Crown.

  • Mark McGregor


    SF are saying the only letter Adams sent was to the Speaker.

    In this case I’m believing them and yes calling the British PM a liar.

  • Pete Baker

    That should be Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead, surely?

    And, before the deniers start, legally no MP can be compelled to disqualify themselves from office.

    So Gerry must have accepted the office of profit under the Crown.

    As the Prime Minister has stated.

  • the old Manxman

    Mark McGregor’s probably right. No doubt, there’s a good deal of ‘creative ambiguity’ going on here. However the Speaker can claim he is interpreting Adam’s request in the time-honoured fashion, like a helicopter parent doing their child’s first job application. And Gerry is hardly going to un-resign, is he?

    In fact I’ve reckoned for a while that SF MPs will have taken their seats within the next year or two. There will be some finagling with the Oath first and they may have their fingers crossed behind their back, but they’ll be there. Logically if you recognise two of the successor parliaments from the British-Irish split, you might as well recognise the third.

    It won’t happen before May, of course, and if a UK general election looks about to happen this year or next, they may wait till after. I also suspect that when they do it, they’ll also get rid of any dual mandates, putting pressure on the SDLP (also underperforming ministers can retire gracefully to the adjacent isle).

    Surprisingly Cameron seems keen on this to happen. I think he wants to have some achievement in the ‘peace process’ or however we’re currently describing the long slouch to normality in NI. If the House of Commons remains ‘hung’, he’s presumably upping the opposition by five, but maybe he thinks the DUP will they automatically always support the government.

  • Brian Walker

    Pete, as so often, you’re right. I heard Cameron in passing and am pretty sure he said ” baron.” by mistake. The daily report and Hansard will correct, as have the news flashes on PA already. I thought “Baron” odd, as real old-school barons were independent magnates who guard their independent status fiercely – more in line with the President’s self-image and regard and not at all like the status of a humble Crown steward or bailiff.

    He would never have taken the other route mooted, to try to take his seat without taking the oath in order to be expelled.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Under the Crown ‘

    The future Louth TD is a lucky man he’s living in the 21st century and not the 18th .Two of the fattest monarchs in British History did most of their ‘eating’ during those times .Paintings of Queen Anne make her look no more than a little fleshy -like a Ruben’s plump beautie but she was in fact ‘exceedingly gross and corpulent’ in the candid words of her former best friend the Duchess of Marlborough. She became so fleshy that the stairs could no longer be negotiated and a a trapdoor had to be cut in the floor of her rooms at Windsor Castle through which she was lowered jerkily and inelegantly by means of pulleys and hoists to the state rooms below . She was buried in a coffin that was almost square . Even more famously enormous of girth was the prince regent George IV whose stomach when freed from his corset reportedly spilled to his knees .

    excerpt from Bryson’s ‘Short History of Private LIfe’ pp 80-81

    Now there’s two crowns nobody would want to sit under 😉

    Of course at the time Anne and George were guzzling their way to massive girths – a huge number of the people of Britain and Ireland were kept on the edge of starvation and famine .

    But that’s ‘aristocracy ‘ for ye !

  • Secret Squirrel

    I’d agree with Mr McGregor.
    Irish republicans couldn’t give two forks about brit parliamentary protocol.

  • circles

    Its all academic really and merely a question of formalities.
    But it is a bit ridiculous to see how some people are so tickled by theis.
    As a republican I really don’t give a monkey’s what labels the British PM wants to try and stick on anybody’s back. Sure haven’t they been trying to tell us we’re british ofr years? It reminds me of those stupid games some kids play at school where they stick a note saying “knob” or something similarly witty on another kids back, then find it really hilarious.
    But then again, there are always sycophants ready to laugh along with them at the shittest joke in the book.

    No matter what Cameron may hope, you’ll never dress an irish silk purse up as a british sow’s ear.

  • Munsterview

    This has been a smoke and mirrors exercise.

    The probable chain of events will be found to run something like this.

    1) Gerry Adams MP send in a letter to The Speaker, House Of Commons stating that he was resigning, simpliciter.

    2) The Speaker assumed that implicit in that notification, since all MP’s are expected to know procedure, that Gerry Adams MP was applying for whatever office by virtue of his application and notified the relevant Crown Office.

    3 ) The relevant Crown Office, having received notification from the Speakers Office that Gerry Adams MP wanted to resign, implemented the usual procedure and appointed Gerry Adams MP to whatever office he was appointed to and notified the Speakers Office accordingly, so disqualifying the sitting MP from West Belfast.

    4) If so Gerry Adams can say that he merely notified the Speaker of his wish to resign and that he did most definitely not apply for any Crown office and what the ‘men in tights ‘did thereafter had nothing to do with him.

    5) The Speaker can say that he did everything pro formula.

    6) The Men In Tights can say that they followed traditional procedure

    Honor satisfied all around !

  • cynic49

    Even Gerry Adams has come to realise that the time comes when a man (MP) has got to do what a man (MP) has got to do. In regards to him taking the Queens shilling, has he not been doing that for a long time?

    With the Westminster thing pushed to one side maybe he can concentrate on improving his radio interview skills and get himself really up to speed with some stark fiscal realities in the Republic.

  • Neil

    It’s just a continuance of that age old Unionist game ‘make ’em be prods’ as seen in their ridiculous attempts to force Irish men to play football for NI rather than the national team that represents them. This is the same kind of thing, same mentality behind it. It would be oh so funny for these fantasists to see Gerry take an office of the crown as that would prove, um, well, we could all have a laugh at Gerry.

    It’s the Brits problem, let them sort it out.

  • He is Bailiff of the Manor of Northstaed, not Baron.

    I suppose bailiffs usually follow a bankruptcy…

  • Crown Steward? Was Adams ever a bar steward in the Crown on Great Victoria Street in downtown Belfast? 🙂

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Id have to agree with Mr McGregor.
    The headline here “Adams Obeys The Rules” is nonsense.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I thought he was a barperson in the Duke of York. Maybe he does a stint behind the bar in the Felons.

  • “Men In Tights”

    Man in balaclava is now wearing tights. What else is there this pantomime gear?

  • Baron Gerry probably did take the proper route to have something other than that radio interview (yesterday)discussed on Slugger. Lesser of two evils as he can always suggest David Cameron is the one lying and Republicans will want to believe that and probably will, so no harm done.

  • Gerry and the grand old Duke of York. He had ten thousand men. He marched them up to the top of the Cavehill and he marched them down again.

  • “Gerry Adams denies he has accepted office of the crown. The only correspondence has been the letter he sent to the speaker.”

    UTV’s Political Editor Ken Reid on Twitter @KenReid

    So who’s the liar, Cameron or Adams?

  • pippakin


    I suspect neither. He resigned, they assigned. Where’s the big deal.

  • Poor ole Gerry geezer – no match for the young Gweedore geyser*.

    (* Miriam Lord’s epithet for the new DSW TD)

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    And everyone can be happy that West Belfast will once again be represented by …….er an abstentionist.
    Cameron dodged the question on expenes.
    And no plans to force people to take seats.

    Gin and tonics all round in Annies Bar.
    Heaven forfend that anybody in Parliament would have to actually DO anything.

  • Secret Squirrel

    fitzjameshorse1745 says:
    …..The headline here “Adams Obeys The Rules” is nonsense.

    Yes, but not surprising.

    BTW I was racking my wee head to think of what the Felons on the NLR was renamed to.

    It’s Fitzy’s now, isn’t it ?

  • Well, he’s always calling for equality: he’s got Northstead and Iris has got the Chiltern Hundreds. They’ll be jigging at the cross-roads.

    We may need to send for the TRB, the Truth Recovery Brigade, to sort out this charade.

  • Carsons Cat

    Here’s the video of the question.

    Proof that Adams is certainly more to be mocked than feared – mind you I reckon the parties in the Republic probably already know that and are bound to have some fun over the next few weeks!

  • Frame

    But he accepted an office of profit under the crown when he became a Stormont MLA and took his salary, so why squirm over the Manor of Northstead?

    Better if he refused to resign from being the Steward of the Manor of Northstead and mess up the Commons ancient procedures for his lifetime.

    I am sure Dave made a deliberate mistake calling Gerry a Baron to avoid being seen as too much of a young fogey and knowing the details of such arcane Commons protocols.

    Anyway his title will later be Lord Divis when he follows Lord Fitt to the Upper House after his Dail stint.

    Everyone dies a Unionist.

  • vanhelsing

    I hope that Baron of the Manor of Northstead doesn’t have any financial responsibilities based on Grizzlys performance yesterday on solutions to the ROIs economic problems:)

    If he does I feel genuinely sorry for the people of Northstead..

    I already feel genuine worry for the good people of Louth..

    It’s nothing more that a funny [if somewhat embarrassing story for SF] have they all lost their sense of humour?

  • Greenflag

    It says something for Westminster -not sure what though -that two of it’s most arcane ‘sinecures’ are held by NI politicians .

    Baron Gerry and Chiltern Hundreds Iris

    Do they have to wear wigs as well ?

    Does anybody know how long Mrs Robinson can hold on to her ‘hundreds’ ?

  • JimRoche

    If Adams sent his resignation to the speaker as a normal person would expect then whatever rigmarole the British go through as a result is entirely their own affair. They are entitled to respect their own procedures just as Adams is entitled to ignore them.

    There is no issue here and never was.

  • Drumlins Rock

    “He resigned, they assigned.”

    Pip one thing the rules are clear about is an MP cant be forced to take an Office Under the Crown, so it appears there had to be some level of agreement from Adams.

  • Neil

    so it appears there had to be some level of agreement from Adams.

    Maybe, or maybe Pip’s correct in saying they’ve decided to assign the role to him to prevent tradition being breached by Adams. According to SF the only communication so far’s been Adams’ letter of resignation.

  • Fionn

    Don’t know who is more surprised at this news me or Gerry Adams, as according to Ken Reid (thanks on Twitter

    “# Gerry Adams spokesperson maintains the only correspondence has been the letter sent to the speaker last week about 1 hour ago via web

    # Gerry Adams denies he has accepted office of the crown. The only correspondence has been the letter he sent to the speaker about 1 hour ago via web”

    although the most interesting thing about that clip is Davey side-stepping the expenses question, was there a phone call from Downing St. was the solution take the job and SF keep the expenses?

    BTW Is it usual to have so many MLAs in the Commons mid-week, is the Assembly shut?

  • Fionn

    You really couldn’t makey-it-uppy …………could you

  • ThomasMourne

    Is this the same G Adams who has been so forthright about his escapades since 1969?

  • Fionn

    Forgot to ask, the other discussion on this at is could Adams accept the role, is he an Irish citizen, can he accept a title without the Irish Govts consent, otherwise its just an honourary title, is it, can he, did he

    Also more importantly Martin is the new FF leader apparently Lenihan was a close 2nd

  • Secret Squirrel

    Just as importantly, does Iris wear a wig ?

  • Fionn

    “Is this the same G Adams who has been so forthright about his escapades since 1969?”

    With Wikileaks and the more recent Middle East papers oh and the Chilcott enquiry ….er…glass houses and stones

  • Greenflag

    @ fionn

    Where do you get your numbers ? RTE has O’Cuiv as second placed in the final count .

    It is understood that Mr Martin was elected after three counts and that the runner up was Mr Ó Cuív.
    Mr Martin is understood to have recieved 33 votes after the first count, Mr Ó Cuív received 15, Brian Lenihan had 14 and Mary Hanafin was on ten.
    After Ms Hanafin’s elimination and the distribution of her votes, Mr Lenihan and Mr Ó Cuív were level, but the Minister for Finance was eliminated on the basis of having had a lower first-count figure

  • While I can appreciate that much of the cajoling is intended to be at Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein’s expense –and so be it –but really, here is a British Institution which has detested Irish Republicans and yet like limpets they are clinging to Adams, even their Penal system never went that far when it came to Adams. I would figure Adams position to be simple –he submitted his resignation –end of story. If the Parliment wants to pursue him it is a bit like some nutcase using different names on face book until eventually you give in and accepot their ‘friend request’. I dont think Adams will ever fall for that though.