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The Clerk of the House of Commons is the chief executive of the House of Commons in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and before 1707 of the House of Commons of England.

Under Clerk of the Parliaments
To wait upon the Commons
Incumbent
John Benger

since 1 March 2019
Office of the Clerk and Chief Executive
ResidenceOutbuilding, Palace of Westminster
AppointerElizabeth II
Inaugural holderRobert de Melton
Formation1363
first permanent appointment

The formal name for the position held by the Clerk of the House of Commons is Under Clerk of the Parliaments.[1] The chief clerk of the House of Lords is the Clerk of the Parliaments.

Contents

DutiesEdit

 
Sir Courtenay Ilbert

The Clerk of the House is the principal constitutional adviser to the House, and adviser on all its procedure and business, including Parliamentary privilege, and frequently appears before Select and Joint Committees examining constitutional and Parliamentary matters. As with all the members of the House Service, he is politically entirely impartial and is not a civil servant. Until 1 January 2008, when the reforms to the House's governance proposed by the Tebbit Review of management and services of the House were implemented, the Clerk was the head of the Clerk's Department.[citation needed]

He sits at the Table of the House, in the right-hand chair (the left-hand chair, looking towards the Speaker’s Chair) for part of every sitting. The historic role of the Clerks at the Table is to record the decisions of the House (not what is said, which is recorded by Hansard), and this they (but not the Clerk) still do. The Clerks at the Table used to wear Court dress with wing collar and white tie, a “bob” (barrister’s) wig and a silk gown. However, as of February 2017 the Clerks will only have to wear gowns.[2] For the State Opening of Parliament and other State occasions, the Clerk of the House wears full Court dress with breeches, and a lace jabot and cuffs.[3]

IncumbentEdit

The office is currently held by John Benger who replaced Sir David Natzler, who retired on 1 March 2019.

List of Clerks of the House of CommonsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Parliamentary Corporate Bodies Act 1992, section 2(2): "The individual who for the time being is by letters patent appointed to the office of the Under Clerk of the Parliaments (and who is customarily referred to as the Clerk of the House of Commons) shall be the Corporate Officer of the Commons."
  2. ^ "Speaker Bercow says Commons clerks' wigs to get chop – BBC News". BBC News. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  3. ^ "Clerk of the House and Chief Executive". Parliament.uk. 24 July 2014.
  4. ^ "No. 27164". The London Gazette. 13 February 1900. p. 999.
  5. ^ "House of Commons Commission decisions, 16 October 2014". parliament.uk. 20 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Clerk of the House of Commons appointment: Dr John Benger". GOV.UK. Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 5 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.

External linksEdit