Click the button for the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic and how it is impacting the royals

State & Ceremonial

The Queen appoints the first ever female Clerk Assistant in the House of Commons

The Queen has been pleased to formally approve the appointment of Sarah Davies as the new Clerk Assistant in the House of Commons.

Ms Davies will become the first woman to permanently hold the position in the role’s 400-year history and will begin her new job later this month.

Her Majesty approved the Speaker’s recommendation that Ms Davies becomes Clerk Assistant following the departure of Dr John Benger who was promoted to become Clerk and Chief Executive of the House of Commons in February.

Ms Davies is currently Principal Clerk of Select Committees and is probably best known for her appearances in the recent Brexit votes where she passed the results from the tellers to the Speaker.

The post of Clerk Assistant dates from 1640 and Ms Davies will be tasked with leading a team of around 500 staff, in providing advice and support for all proceedings of the House and its Committees.

She will also be in charge of comprising Hansard and the broadcasting of Parliament.

The Clerk Assistant sits in the central place at the Table of the House, on the immediate left of the Clerk of the House, Dr Benger.

Ms Davies has worked in Parliament for over 25 years and is the first woman to permanently hold the job of Clerk Assistant.

Speaker John Bercow announced the news of the appointment in the House of Commons on Wednesday after “a fair and open recruitment process.”

Speaker Bercow said: “She is a superb servant of the House of Commons. We unite in congratulating her, and we wish her well for the period which lies ahead.”

MPs then broke into a rare round of applause in the chamber before the Prime Minister got to her feet and also congratulated Ms Davies.

Theresa May said: “May I add my congratulations to Sarah Davies on achieving this position and saying how good it always is on seeing women in high office?”