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News > Alumni News > Dr John Benger (OS 1979) appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB)

Dr John Benger (OS 1979) appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB)

Congratulations to Dr John Benger (OS 1979), Clerk of the House of Commons, who was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) for services to Parliament in the New Year Honours List.
26 Jan 2023
Alumni News
Sir John Stuart Benger KCB Photography credit: PoliticsHome
Sir John Stuart Benger KCB Photography credit: PoliticsHome

Sir John Benger

After leaving Stockport Grammar School in 1979, Sir John read English Language and Literature at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge until 1982. He then took a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Worcester College, Oxford in 1983 before completing a PhD in Philosophy.

Sir John joined the House of Commons Service in 1986 and has been Clerk to a number of Select Committees and worked in a number of procedural teams. In 2019, he was appointed by the Crown as Clerk of the House of Commons, the chief adviser to the House on matters of parliamentary procedure, privilege and broader constitutional issues. His knighthood recognises the unprecedented procedural, logistical and human challenges faced by the House in recent years, and how he and his team emerged from the Brexit debates with their reputation for impartial and expert advice enhanced. He also led Parliament through and out of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing the strategic direction for this work, enabling the House to continue to function effectively.

As Clerk, Sir John ensured that the House agreed to the recommendation that judgements and sanctions in relation to complaints of bullying and harassment should be completely independent of MPs despite significant opposition – a recent survey reports that staff confidence improved dramatically. He introduced a direct graduate recruitment scheme with BME representation rising from two in the previous 15 years, to eight recruited in three years, with candidates of the highest calibre.

Sir John said,

“I am humbled to be recognised by this award and know how much I am indebted to all my talented colleagues in Parliament. It has been an extraordinary time to be Clerk, through the fierce Brexit debates and then all the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has provided, but it has also been both stimulating and rewarding.”

 

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