Clerk and Chief Executive of the British House of Commons (2011-14)
Expert on British parliamentary democracy and Magna Carta
Voted 2014 Parliamentarian of the Year by The Spectator magazine
Lord Lisvane, formerly Sir Robert Rogers, served as the 49th Clerk of the House of Commons in the British Parliament.
Robert speaks with wit and humour about the history and future of Britain’s parliamentary democracy, the relationship between Magna Carta and the US Constitution, the future of the iconic Palace of Westminster, and on ethical issues. As former Chief Executive, he experienced the challenges of running a unique institution constantly in the public eye. He argues passionately that history should serve as an inspiration to the present, not its jailer, and that for democratic institutions to prosper, they need to be understood, valued and then owned by the people they serve.
Robert joined the House of Commons Service in 1972 and was involved in every aspect of the House’s work during his career, becoming Clerk of the House in 2011 and figuring prominently in the recent BBC documentary Inside the Commons. As Clerk he was also Chief Executive of the House of Commons Service of 2,000 people, acquiring unique experience in running a complex operation in a highly political environment with constant media interest. He was also the legal owner of the House’s buildings and property – even including Big Ben. The Investors in People review of the House Service described him as “an inspirational communicator.”As Accounting Officer for the House of Commons Robert had personal responsibility for the propriety and regularity of the expenditure of public money.
Robert is the author of two light-hearted miscellanies about the British Parliament: “Order! Order! and Who Goes Home?” and is the joint author of the standard text, “How Parliament Works,” now in its seventh edition. He has extensive experience of ethical issues, having chaired standards committees in local government and the police service
Away from Parliament he is an Honorary Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, and an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple Inn of Court. In 2013 he was named Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, and in 2014 was given the honour of being named for a Life Peerage by the Queen, taking the title Lord Lisvane.
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