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The fall of the lord chancellor

Once a mighty constitutional office, the role is now played by political minnows. Our democracy is the weaker for it

By Jake Richards  

The state opening of parliament is a typically British affair. The day begins with a ceremonial searching of the cellars, supervised by the Lord Great Chamberlain providing glasses of port, marking the gunpowder plot. Accompanied by mischievous laughter on the green benches, there is then a delivery of a parliamentary hostage whereby a current member of parliament is held “prisoner” for the duration of the Queen’s speech, in an…

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