The Remembrancer is one of the City of London Corporation’s Chief Officers; the role dates back to 1571. His traditional role is as the channel of communications between the Lord Mayor and the City of London on the one hand and the Sovereign, Royal Household and Parliament on the other. The Remembrancer is also the City's Ceremonial Officer and Chief of Protocol.
Since 2003, the Remembrancer has been Paul Double. He joined the City of London from the Bar and earlier government service. His work in Parliament has centred on the legislation to implement the changes to the City's electoral system.
Remembrancer’s role and department
The Remembrancer’s department at the City of London is broken into three distinct branches of work - parliamentary, ceremonial and private events. The parliamentary office is responsible for looking after the City of London's interests in Parliament with regard to all public legislation, while the ceremonial office’s objectives are to enable the Lord Mayor and City of London to welcome high profile visitors both domestically and internationally. Functions staged range from small receptions to major state dinners. Finally, the private events team co-ordinate the hiring of the Guildhall for private banquets, receptions or conferences. The Remembrancer’s department had a budget of £6 million in 2011, and employed six lawyers to scrutinise prospective legislation and give evidence to select committees.
The Remembrancer is a Parliamentary Agent, and as such can observe House of Commons proceedings from the under-gallery facing the Speaker's chair. However this access does not give the ability to participate in or influence the proceedings.
The Corporation in general, and the Remembrancer in particular, have no power to overrule Parliament, which has the right to make legislation affecting the City. For example, the Corporation needed to request a private Act of Parliament in 2002 to modernise its system of local elections; an Act which inter alia notes that "The objects of this Act cannot be attained without the authority of Parliament". The Remembrancer does not have any entitlement to see Parliamentary Bills or other papers before they are publicly available or to amend laws. The right to submit briefings to MPs or to submit evidence to Select Committees is the same as that of any other individual or body.
|“||The City of London is the only part of Britain over which parliament has no authority. In one respect at least the Corporation acts as the superior body: it imposes on the House of Commons a figure called the remembrancer: an official lobbyist who sits behind the Speaker’s chair and ensures that, whatever our elected representatives might think, the City’s rights and privileges are protected.||”|
In 2013, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas wrote to the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, asking him to consider removing the Remembrancer from the floor of the House of Commons, and to end the Remembrancer’s privileges to view legislation during the drafting process. The House of Commons Library advised that the Remembrancer's privileged access to the House of Commons is not given by legislation, and is under the control of the Speaker.
- "City of London - Recent faqs". City of London Corporation - Media centre. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- Nick Mathiason and Melanie Newman (9 July 2012). "City of London Corporation: a lesson in lobbying". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- "Written Answers to Questions - City of London Remembrancer". Hansard. UK Parliament. 3 March 2014. 3 Mar 2014 : Column 593W. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
- "City of London (Ward Elections) Act 2002". Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. 7 November 2002.
- George Monbiot (31 October 2011). "The medieval, unaccountable Corporation of London is ripe for protest". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Green Party calls for Remembrancer to be expelled from the House of Commons". Green Party of England and Wales. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
- City Remembrancer's Office, City of London