The Lord Lisvane KCB DL
Former Clerk of the House of Commons
Educated at Tonbridge School (scholar) and Lincoln College, Oxford (scholar and Judd Exhibitioner) where he read Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic and was then a Rhodes Research Scholar, Robert researched briefly (on Anglo-Saxon colour words!) before joining the Ministry of Defence equally briefly. In 1972 he was appointed an Assistant Clerk in the House of Commons. He has served in a range of procedural posts including Clerk of Private Members’ Bills, and Select Committee posts including Clerk of the Select Committees on Defence and on European Legislation. He was Parliamentary Counsellor to the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe from 1992 to 1995. Robert was appointed a Principal Clerk in 1998 and since then has been Clerk of Delegated Legislation, Principal Clerk of Select Committees, Secretary of the House of Commons Commission, Clerk of the Journals, Principal Clerk of the Table Office, and Clerk of Legislation. He took up his present post in 2011.
Robert is a Fellow and Trustee of the Industry and Parliament Trust, an Associate of the National School of Government, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Parliamentary Studies. He has contributed to various books and journals on European, constitutional, Parliamentary and governance issues, is co-author of How Parliament Works (6th edition 2006) and author of Order! Order! A Parliamentary Miscellany (2009). In a professional capacity he has visited more than 50 parliaments worldwide. His recreations are music (he is a church organist and singer), cricket (now mainly as spectator), real tennis, shooting, sailing and the countryside.