Outgoing MP McGuinness gets title (UTV)

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness has been appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead by the Treasury after his resignation as Mid-Ulster MP.

The English aristocratic title is one of two posts which allow MPs to leave the Commons.

Protocol dictates that by accepting an office of profit under the Crown, outgoing MPs are disqualified from membership of the Commons.

The job has no actual responsibilities and is unpaid.

The resignation, which comes as part of Sinn Féin’s commitment to phase out double-jobbing, will result in a by-election later this year.

Mr McGuinness, who has never taken his seat in Westminster, was first elected as MP for Mid-Ulster in 1997. He formally announced his resignation on Sunday.

He is the second Sinn Féin member to be appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead in recent years.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams was given the title after his resignation as MP for West Belfast two years ago.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Sinn Féin said: “Martin McGuinness resigned the same way as Gerry Adams in 2011.

“As Irish republicans we gave no time for antiquated and ridiculous titles of the British parliamentary system then and this remains the situation.

“What we need to see now is the writ being moved for a by-election to allow the people of Mid-Ulster to have their say.”

Francie Molloy has been selected by Sinn Féin to contest the by-election.

TUV leader Jim Allister has called on the DUP and UUP to declare “a willingness to secure a unity candidate” to run for the seat.


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