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Clerk of the Parliaments

Volume 722: debated on Monday 8 November 2010

Retirement of Michael Pownall

My Lords, the current Clerk of the Parliaments, Michael Pownall, who was appointed for a three-year term on 4 November 2007, has at my request agreed to an extension of his appointment until 15 April 2011. I am pleased to say that Her Majesty the Queen has agreed to such an extension. Mr Pownall has written to me in the following terms:

“Dear Leader of the House,

I am grateful to you for notifying me of the extension of my appointment as Clerk of the Parliaments.

In coming to the decision to retire next April, I have borne in mind that I will by then have served the House of Lords for nearly 40 years. There have, of course, been many changes and challenges over this period, not least during my time as Clerk of the Parliaments; and it has been a great privilege to have played a part in the development of the House as an effective second chamber. As Clerk of the Parliaments, I have been extremely well supported by the staff of the House who as you know, show great commitment to the House and its work.

Please would you convey to Members of the House my appreciation for their support and friendship over the years.

Yours sincerely

Michael Pownall”.

I am consulting the other party leaders in the House, the Convenor of the Cross Benches and the Lord Speaker on a process to appoint a successor to Mr Pownall. The timetable for that process should mean that the recommendation for a successor to Mr Pownall can be made to Her Majesty shortly after the Christmas Recess. As is customary, I will put before the House nearer the time of his retirement a Motion to enable Members to pay proper tribute to the services of Michael Pownall.