The Speaker made his statement (of course). There was barking throughout. Never has a Speaker’s statement been heckled. Scoffing, scornful laughter on “A number of colleagues expressed disquiet.”
He said as little as possible, played it straight, modestly, firmly, with a self-deprecation mild enough to sound plausible. “My preference did not meet with sufficient support,” he said to explain why the combined post was advertised.
The management challenge was larger than it ever has been. The move out of the building and the refurbishment of the buildings was, he implied, beyond the capacity of clerks.
So, the panel chose the candidate to be both chief adviser to parliament and chief executive.
As to separating the roles “Any change would require the consent of the House.”
On the pre-appointment hearing he says he wants to hear views.
He is offering “a modest pause in the recruitment process while views are solicited in detail.”
This is the first stage of what he hopes will be an orderly retreat.