Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 14:53 UK
Chiltern Hundreds

Technically speaking MPs cannot voluntarily give up their seats during a Parliament.

If a member wishes to resign they must accept an office of profit under the Crown which legally disqualifies them from continuing as an MP.

These offices - within the gift of the chancellor of the exchequer - exist as a purely nominal device for this purpose.

The two offices still in use are the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds (Stoke, Desborough and Burnham), and of the Manor of Northstead.

More from BBC Democracy Live
Compare who does what across the UK and Europe
Our A-Z of words used in the business of politics
Discover what BBC Democracy Live has to offer you


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific