The Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was in the strange position of holding a Crown title last night – in exchange for resigning from his unfilled seat in the House of Commons.
Mr Adams plans to step down as MP for West Belfast in order to contest next month's elections in the Irish Republic. Parliamentary protocol dictates that he has to be given a paid post under the Crown to be allowed to leave the Commons.
David Cameron said Mr Adams, who has never taken up his seat, had "accepted" the office. The Sinn Fein leader said he had simply resigned and knew nothing about the honorary post. He said: "I have had no truck whatsoever with these antiquated and quite bizarre aspects of the British parliamentary system."