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Point Of Order – Appointment Of House Of Commons Clerk
Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. Will you advise me and Members of this House how we can support your proposal to separate the functions of the Clerk of the House and the chief executive? I came to the view when I was Leader of the House in 2003-05 that that was essential. The Clerk needs to be an experienced and specialist expert in parliamentary procedure. The chief executive, however, has a different function. Managing a £200 million budget and 1,500 staff requires very different skills. As Leader of the House at a time of serious security breaches, I recall having to overcome serious resistance among vested interests and fiefdoms in this House, some of which are still here, against the appointment of an independent, professional head of security. Nobody today thinks that that was anything other than absolutely necessary. I urge you, Mr Speaker, to stick to your guns on this separation of the functions.
Mr Speaker: I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman who speaks with the experience of a former Leader of the House. People can express their views on the Floor of the Chamber, in letters to me or to the Leader of the House or the shadow Leader of the House or in the form of one-to-one conversations. I want to hear what people have to say. The right hon. Gentleman has started that process, but it is open to others to continue it. Let me repeat that I wish to hear all views from all Members from all parts of the House.