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Chiltern Hundredsthe short form of name for an officer under the Crown, ‘Steward or Bailiff of Her Majesty's three Chiltern Hundreds of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham’. A Member of Parliament is not allowed to resign (albeit only because of a resolution of the House itself from 1623), but if a Member wants to give up a seat then the Member can apply to accept this office, which has virtually no duties. As it is an office under the Crown, acceptance of the office disqualifies the Member under the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975. The same applies to the other office which is available for the same purpose, the Manor of Northstead. The two offices are granted alternately.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006