POINT OF ORDER – APPOINTMENT OF COMMONS CLERK AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE – 1 September 2014

Dr Julian Lewis: Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. It is usually unwise for a politician to admit total ignorance, but I have done it before and I intend to do it again. I have to confess that, until this dispute about the Clerk arose, I had not the faintest idea – despite being a Member of this House since 1997 – that the Clerk of the House, an expert in procedure, was, by default, also the Chief Executive of the House. Now that you have sufficiently educated ignorant hon. Members like me about that important distinction, and perhaps about the need to look at the matter rather more rationally than in the past, may I suggest that, as so many other people and bodies are so anxious to seize from you the poisoned chalice of this decision, you should give it to them with maximum rapidity?

[Mr Speaker: The hon. Gentleman has been wisely advising me on all sorts of matters since I first came to know him in October 1983. I have very rarely regretted taking his advice, and very much doubt that I would do so on this occasion either.]