In the Commons on Thursday morning, Hilary Benn asked his opposite number if the government would consider changing the rules.
He said: “Does the Leader (of the House) agree with me that it is time we changed these ancient ways of enabling members to step down and move to a simple system where a member can write to you, Mr Speaker, and step down?”
Sir George Young said the office had been granted by the chancellor in line with “long-standing precedent”.
“So Mr Speaker, we have delivered Mr Adams to the required destination, though we may have chosen a vehicle and a route that was not one of his choosing,” he added. [added emphasis]
He dismissed the “hypothetical possibility” raised by some members that a future chancellor could appoint an MP to an office under the crown without a relevant application.
“I find it inconceivable that such a situation would occur. It is a matter of constitutional principle that the chancellor does not act without an unambiguous request from a member to relinquish his or her seat.”
BTW, the BBC might want to revisit what they’ve said about that ‘apology’ if this Irish Times report is accurate
A Downing Street spokesman said last night Mr Cameron was standing by remarks he made during prime minister’s questions yesterday regarding Mr Adams’s status.
But he said Mr Cameron’s private secretary had apologised to Mr Adams for the fact that news of the appointment had been made public without his foreknowledge.