Politicians can now legally die in Parliament

Stat of the day: Some 800 laws are heading for the scrapheap this summer. So, if you're planning to enter the 1800 lottery to win the Pigot Diamond, you're nearly out of time.

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

The statute book is getting a makeover as part of a government initiative to get rid of obsolete laws. And it's about time too. For the chop: 16 Acts passed between 1798 and 1828 imposing duty on every pint of ale, beer or porter brewed or sold in parts of Scotland, a 1322 Act on paying the king's debt using animals, and 38 obsolete Acts relating to railway companies operating in British India and the wider East Indies.

Other laws that politicians want to see repealed include the offence of dying in Parliament and the statute which forbids the consumption of any fowl except goose on Christmas Day. They would also like to get rid of legislation that demands every cab driver ask potential fares if they have the pox or plague...

Sir James Munby, chairman of the Law Commission for England and Wales, said: 'We are committed to ridding the statute books of meaningless provisions and making sure our laws are relevant in the modern world.'

No news on whether it's still legal to kill a Scotsman in York (provided he's carrying a bow and arrow), however...

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