Bury Richard III in Leicester? York? Or... Worksop?
An unlikely third claim on the remains of King Richard III has come from a town in Nottinghamshire.
The House of Commons erupted in laughter yesterday when Worksop MP John Mann insisted the bones, if proved to be those of the king – should be brought to his town, because it is half-way between Leicester and York, which have both staked a claim.
Labour MP Mr Mann told the House: "The great priory of Worksop is half-way between the two.
"It's the end of the road of the forest (Sherwood) and centre of the kingdom of Richard III.
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"It is the most appropriate final resting place for the king."
He made the unexpected request to Tony Baldry, who answers questions relating to the Church in the Commons.
Mr Baldry said if DNA testing revealed the bones belonged to Richard, he thought they would be reinterred in the cathedral nearest to their point of discovery – Leicester.
In the Commons, MPs from Leicester and York jumped to the defence of their cities.
Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth said: "I'm sure Worksop has many fine qualities but given that he has been in Leicester for 500 years, I think it would be most appropriate for him to be buried in Leicester Cathedral."
Hugh Bayley, MP for York Central, said: "I think you will find it was not 500 years but 527 years since he was killed and in that passage of time he is still well-regarded in York.
"We've a museum to Richard. We respect him enormously but to argue on this floor over his mortal remains, I think that's inappropriate."
University of Leicester Archaeological Services began digging in Greyfriars car park, Leicester, in August.
They found in a Franciscan friary an adult male skeleton with a barbed iron arrowhead in its spine, a bashed skull and spinal abnormalities, probably caused by scoliosis.
DNA testing to try to confirm the identity of the bones is being carried out.
The Richard III Foundation has suggested the bones should go to York, where Richard began plans for a chantry chapel in 1483.
Speaking after the debate, Mr Ashworth said he understood Mr Mann was going to start a campaign to get the remains reinterred in Worksop.
"He was serious when he was saying they should go to Worksop," he said.
"I do not wish to insult Worksop but everyone knows Richard III should remain in Leicester.
"I am going to make my views clear to John Mann. I mean, who does he think he is?
"Who wants to go to Worksop to see Richard III?
"I think Leicester or York are the only two realistic places and I think Leicester Cathedral is the best place."