LETTER: Bishop's seat

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The Independent Online
From Mr Eric J. Thompson

Sir: In his obituary of the Right Rev Vernon Nicholls (7 February), David A. Willoughby informs us that:

Because he has a seat in the island's Legislative Council, the upper house of Tynwald, the Bishop of Sodor and Man is debarred from sitting in the House of Lords even if he is a senior bishop. He has a courtesy seat only in the Lords, and may neither speak nor vote.

However, according to Erskine May (18th edition, page 5) the "Bishop of Sodor and Man has no seat in Parliament", and this is because of his "not having originally held his temporalities directly from the Crown".

Yours faithfully,

Eric Thompson

London, NW2