My Lords, I informed the House on 20 March of Mr Paul Hayter’s intention to retire from the office of Clerk of the Parliaments, with effect from Saturday 3 November. I told the House on that occasion that it had been agreed that a trawl for Mr Hayter’s successor should be held, with applications being invited from the House of Commons and the devolved assemblies, as well as from the House of Lords. There were four applicants, all of whom were interviewed by a board consisting of myself, the other party leaders, the Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers, the Lord Speaker and Janet Paraskeva, the First Civil Service Commissioner. The unanimous recommendation of the board is that Mr Michael Pownall should succeed Mr Paul Hayter as Clerk of the Parliaments.
My Lords, we will have an opportunity to pay tribute to Mr Hayter’s distinguished career in the House nearer to the date of his retirement.
Following Mr Pownall’s appointment as Clerk of the Parliaments, a vacancy now arises for the position of Clerk Assistant. It has been agreed that a separate competition to fill this vacancy, limited to applications from existing House of Lords staff, will be held as soon as possible after the Whitsun Recess. It is expected that the outcome of that second competition will be known by the end of June.