I recall it was to explicitly rule out any suggestion that he was disqualified.
Whilst to us geeks, the rules are obvious to the journos who are quick to quick to deliver o line copy even back in 2008 it wouldn’t have been so I completely understand why he did it.
Do not underestimate the stupidity of journalists. When Tony Blair resigned as MP for Sedgefield in 2007, the Daily Telegraph "explained" that being appointed to the Chiltern Hundreds was an honour which was traditionally awarded to outgoing Prime Ministers.
Labour governments are always voted in by empty minds, and voted out by empty pockets