MEMORANDUM August 2014 The Clerk of the House of Commons Appointment
The Clerk of the House, formally styled
The Under Clerk of the Parliaments, to wait upon the Commons
is appointed by the Crown on the advice of the Prime Minister. He (it has always been a
so far) is appointed by Letters Patent, like a senior judge, which buttress his independence: alone among the staff of the House, he is not an employee of the House of Commons Commission, and can be removed only on an Address of the House to dismiss him. This means that he is able to advise the House and its Members regardless of the possible unpopularity of that advice. The Clerk
s salary is on Judicial Scale 3 (Lord Justice of Appeal) which means there is no
determination of salary, an additional protection of his independence.
The Clerk is the principal constitutional adviser to the House, and adviser on all its procedure and business, and on privilege and the law of Parliament. He is a frequent witness before Select and Joint Committees (during his Clerkship, for example, Sir Robert Rogers gave evidence on House of Lords Reform, Superinjunctions, Parliamentary Privilege, Recall of Members, Petitions and e-petitions, the Parliamentary Calendar, Queen
s and Prince of Wales
s Consent, select committee powers, and a range of other subjects).