HC Deb 17 March 2000 vol 346 c375W
Mr. Bob Russell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provisions exist for a city to have its title and status removed. [114882]

Mr. Mike O'Brien

Apart from those cities that enjoy city status by ancient prescriptive usage, city status is an honour conferred by the Sovereign by Letters Patent. As it is a matter for the Royal Prerogative, the Sovereign can strip a city of its status, but this has never been done. Any city acknowledged by ancient prescriptive usage would be expected to have had that status confirmed by local government legislation during the last 100–150 years. It is possible, however, under local government reorganisation legislation, for a new local authority to lose the city status previously enjoyed by part of that authority.