Skip to main content

Dr John Benger appointed as Clerk of the House of Commons

5 February 2019

Image of UK Parliament portcullis

Dr John Benger has today been named as the 51st Clerk of the House of Commons, following formal approval from The Queen.

Dr Benger follows in the footsteps of Sir David Natzler, who retires on 1st March 2019.
Her Majesty's approval follows an open competition and selection process. The recruitment panel was made up of an independent non-executive member, and four MPs – Rt Hon John Bercow MP (Speaker of the House of Commons), Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP (Leader of the House of Commons), Valerie Vaz MP (Shadow Leader of the House of Commons) and Stewart Hosie MP (member of the House of Commons Commission).
Dr Benger joined the House of Commons Service in 1986, and currently serves as Clerk Assistant and Managing Director of the Chamber and Committees Team. He has been Clerk to a number of Select Committees, including Public Accounts, Health and Treasury, and has worked in a number of procedural teams, including the Public Bill Office and the Table Office. He was Director of Service Delivery, Department for Information Services, between 2012-15.
The Clerk of the House of Commons – officially known as the Under Clerk of the Parliaments – is the chief adviser to the House on matters of parliamentary procedure, privilege and broader constitutional issues.
The post holder is also head of the House of Commons Service, line manager for the Director General of the House of Commons, and a member of the House of Commons Commission and the Commons Executive Board.

Dr Benger commented:

“It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed to this historic role at such a key moment in the life of the Commons.
“I would like to pay tribute to Sir David Natzler for all the work he has done over his many years of service to the House.
“I look forward to working with colleagues from across Parliament to ensure the House remains at the heart of our democracy.”

Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons said:

“It was an extremely robust and rigorous process and Dr Benger was the unanimous choice of the selection panel.

"My colleagues and I have come to know him well over the years. We believe he has outstanding qualities and will be an outstanding successor to the outstanding clerk who is due to retire very shortly."

Read more about the role of the Clerk of the House here.