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Next Clerk of the Parliaments appointed

17 February 2021 (updated on 17 February 2021)

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Simon Burton has been appointed as the next Clerk of the Parliaments and will take up the role leading the Lords Administration from 2 April 2021.

The Clerk of the Parliaments is the most senior official in the House of Lords Administration. The post-holder is responsible for its management, administration and finances, and also has responsibilities in the chamber during business and is the chief procedural adviser to the House of Lords. 

The current Clerk of the Parliaments is Ed Ollard.

Lord Speaker

Commenting on the appointment Lord Fowler, the Lord Speaker and chairman of the House of Lords Commission, said:

'Simon Burton is an outstanding public servant. He is the ideal person to take the House of Lords through an important period of change in the coming years. He is not only an acknowledged expert on parliamentary procedure but is also someone who as Clerk and Chief Executive will provide strong leadership to the whole organisation. It is for reasons such as these that he was the unanimous choice of the selection panel and we look forward to working with him. Simon follows the excellent Ed Ollard who is retiring at Easter and one of his first and most important tasks will be to help shape the role and support the recruitment of the new Chief Operating Officer who will lead the non-procedural areas of the House's work.'

Simon Burton

Simon Burton said on his appointment:

'I am honoured to be appointed as the next Clerk of the Parliaments. I have always been impressed by seeing first-hand the professionalism and dedication of all the people working for the House of Lords, and never more so than over the past year. I want to pay tribute to Ed Ollard for his public service and his leadership, in particular during this unprecedented time. I look forward to working with the Commission, all members of the House, the Management Board and all my colleagues to build on the process of change already underway. I want to make the House of Lords a truly inclusive place to work, a place where we all respect each other and a place where we all do our jobs to the best of our ability.'

Simon will be the 65th Clerk of the Parliaments. The position is a Crown appointment. 
Dame Sue Owen, former Permanent Secretary at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and independent adviser to the recruitment panel, said:

'This was a rigorous and open selection process. The House of Lords attracted and considered an impressive range of very well-qualified internal and external applications and I strongly support this appointment.'


Learn more about the role and and history of the Clerk of the Parliaments and how the House of Lords is run