|Under Clerk of the Parliaments|
To wait upon the Commons
|Office of the Clerk and Chief Executive|
|Residence||Outbuilding, Palace of Westminster|
|Inaugural holder||Robert de Melton|
first permanent appointment
The Clerk of the House is the principal constitutional adviser to the house, and adviser on all its procedure and business, including parliamentary privilege, and frequently appears before select and joint committees examining constitutional and parliamentary matters. As with all the members of the House Service, he is politically entirely impartial and is not a civil servant. Until 1 January 2008, when the reforms to the house's governance proposed by the Tebbit Review of management and services of the house were implemented, the clerk was the head of the Clerk's Department. He sits at the table of the house, in the right-hand chair (the left-hand chair, looking towards the Speaker's chair) for part of every sitting. The historic role of the clerks at the table is to record the decisions of the house (not what is said, which is recorded by Hansard).This they (but not the clerk) still do. The clerks at the table used to wear court dress with wing collar and white tie, a bob (barrister's) wig and a silk gown. However, as of February 2017 the clerks will only have to wear gowns. For the State Opening of Parliament and other state occasions, the Clerk of the House wears full court dress with breeches, and a lace jabot and cuffs.