Charles Walker pays tribute to the retiring Clerk of the House of Commons

Charles Walker MP speaking in the House of Commons, 13 February 2019

Charles Walker pays tribute to Sir David Natzler KCB, on his retirement from the office of Clerk of the House of Commons.

Mr Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con)

I am sorry that I was late in attending the Chamber, Mr Speaker; the Procedure Committee was meeting.

Sir David has been an absolute brick to this rather gauche Chairman of the Procedure Committee. I bounce into his office on a regular basis, demonstrating the clear thinking of the totally uninformed. I am sat down, and he demonstrates the deep thinking of the totally informed. He never says no. He normally says, “Charles, brilliant idea—let’s work together to make it even better.” By the time I leave his office, we have the kernel of a good idea that we can take forward.

Sir David is a truly great man. His ethos of public service and his commitment to excellence and to this place reverberate around the corridors of the House of Commons. This is seen in all the Clerks who work with him and for him, from the most senior Clerks to those who are just starting on their journey—a journey that might take them to the highest office in this place over the next 40 years. I shall miss his wisdom greatly. He has been a fantastic friend. He is always willing to listen and, most importantly, he has always been willing to guide. In a sense, he is a bit like a father figure. Father figures love to hear the voices of their children and, in hearing those voices, they can often moderate them and direct them to great purpose and better things. He has been a huge influence on my time in this place, and as I have said, I shall miss him immensely.