A sideline into politics.
Eric Illsley MP has became the first sitting MP to be convicted of expenses fraud after he admitted dishonestly claiming more than £14,000 and now awaits sentencing.
If I read the regulations correctly, an MP is disqualified from the House of Commons if they are serving a prison sentence of more than one year.
What happens if he is jailed, but for less than a year? Technically, he remains an MP – but what if he were to do the honourable thing and seek to resign his seat?
Here we get into archaic aspects of Parliament, as an MP cannot formally resign their seat, but they undertake an activity that causes them to be disqualified as an MP – typically, taking an “office of profit under the Crown“.
However, that means The Queen has to decide to employ the person as either their Crown Steward and Bailiff of the three Chiltern Hundreds, or the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead.
If you were The Queen, would you want to offer either job to a convicted criminal?