My Lords, on 24 May, I informed the House that, following the appointment of Michael Pownall as Clerk of the Parliaments, a competition limited to existing House of Lords staff would be held to identify a successor as Clerk Assistant. Yesterday, four applicants were interviewed by a board consisting of me, the other party leaders, the Convener, the Lord Speaker and Janet Paraskeva, the First Civil Service Commissioner. The unanimous recommendation of the board is that David Beamish should succeed Michael Pownall as Clerk Assistant. I am sure that your Lordships would wish to join me in congratulating David on his appointment, which he will take up in November.
A vacancy now arises for the position of Reading Clerk. It has been agreed that a separate competition to fill that vacancy, limited to applications from existing House of Lords staff, will be held as soon as possible. It is expected that the outcome will be known by the middle of July.