Before we move to the Urgent Question in the name of the right hon. Member for Tottenham, I have a brief announcement to make to the House.
Her Majesty the Queen has been pleased to approve that Dr John Benger be appointed Under Clerk of the Parliaments—that is to say, Clerk of the House of Commons—in succession to Sir David Natzler KCB who will retire in March.
For the benefit of colleagues and others who take an interest in our proceedings, I can say that Her Majesty’s approval of the appointment of Dr Benger followed an open competition and selection process composed of an independent non-executive member and four members of the House of Commons Commission—myself, the Leader of the House, the shadow Leader of the House and Stewart Hosie MP.
I wish to emphasise that it was a robust and rigorous process and that Dr Benger was the unanimous choice of the selection panel. For those of you who do not know him, I hope that you will come to do so. He is at present the Clerk Assistant of the House and Managing Director, Chamber and Committees. He has held that post since July 2015. My colleagues on the panel and I have come to know him well over the years. We believe that he has outstanding qualities and that he will be an outstanding successor to the outstanding Clerk who will retire shortly.
I hope that that public information notice is of interest to the House.