Jeremy Corbyn has been stripped of his “Right Honourable” title after advisers to the Queen asked parliament to remove the status for the new Labour leader, the Daily Telegraph first reported.
Until the weekend, Corbyn’s page on Parliament’s website had him listed as Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, but this styling has now been removed.
Jeremy Corbyn’s parliamentary webpage today:
Corbyn’s page last week:
Parliamentary sources told the Telegraph that the Privy Council — the body that advises the monarch on various issues —
ordered Corbyn to be returned to the simpler Jeremy Corbyn MP on the site, as he should never have been listed as “Rt Hon” in the first place.
Members of Parliament and others who are members of the Queen’s Privy Council are styled as the “Rt Hon.” But Corbyn has been told that because he missed last week’s meeting, he cannot be appointed until the next Privy Council meeting, the Telegraph said.
The confusion over Corbyn’s styling seems to have stemmed from a government statement released on September 14, which said: “The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Jeremy Corbyn MP as a member of the Privy Council.”
David Rogers, an expert on the Privy Council, noted to the Telegraph that the government seems to have confused the Queen’s approval of Corbyn’s appointment with an actual appointment, and as such Corbyn’s parliamentary page was changed in error.
Corbyn was subject to a storm last week after he confirmed he would not be attending the first meeting of the Queen’s Privy Council since his appointment last month. He said that he had “prior commitments” but would not confirm what they were. He was later spotted eating fish and chips in a restaurant in Scotland over the weekend.
Corbyn, a well-known staunch republican, has previously been criticised for not singing the National Anthem, but had accepted an invitation from the Queen to join the Privy Council.
However, according to the Telegraph, the Cabinet Office has confirmed that because Corbyn missed Friday’s Privy Council meeting — and as a result has not been sworn into the Council — he will have to wait until the next meeting, probably next month, before he can join the roll of advisers to Her Majesty.
Until he is allowed to join the Council, Corbyn will miss out on being briefed about security issues, which during a time when the conflict in Syria is escalating, could be crucial. Several members of Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet, including Hilary Benn, Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman, are on the Privy Council, and Corbyn will have to send them to receive briefings until he is appointed to the Council.
This move from the Queen’s advisers may seem petty, especially after many rightly pointed out that David Cameron missed the first Privy Council meeting after his appointment as Conservative party leader in 2005, but was still considered to be part of the Council. Despite missing his first meeting, Cameron was still appointed to the Council, unlike Corbyn. However, it is thought that the Privy Council is simply following protocol by ordering Corbyn’s return to the status of just being an MP.
While most would see Corbyn not being allowed onto the Council as petty, Sir Nicholas Soames, a senior member thinks differently. He told the Telegraph: “If he is going to be the Leader of the Opposition and be taken seriously he has to take the job seriously and treating a privy counsellorship in this way is appalling” he said.
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