Jill Pay

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Jill Pay
Serjeant at Arms
of the British House of Commons
In office
30 January 2008 – 31 January 2012
Speaker Michael Martin
John Bercow
Preceded by Peter Grant Peterkin
Succeeded by Lawrence Ward
Personal details
Born (1951-05-10) 10 May 1951 (age 66)
Croydon, London
Nationality British
Spouse(s) John Pay

Jill Pay (born 10 May 1951) is a retired civil servant and official of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. She was Serjeant at Arms in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.[1] Pay is the first woman to have held the position[2] Her appointment was unusual in that the position is one normally reserved for those with a military background. Pay's position conferred responsibility for security in the House of Commons. She announced her retirement on 13 October 2011, effective 31 January 2012.[3]


Pay replaced Major General Peter Grant Peterkin as Serjeant at Arms in 2008. She is a former civil servant who had previously worked as a business manager. She had worked in Parliament since 1994 when her title was Head Office Keeper. She was appointed Deputy Serjeant at Arms in 2004.[4] Before she assumed the role of Serjeant at Arms, the role was downgraded, something with which the Queen was said to be unhappy. The position is a crown appointment. Pay was not granted the traditional audience with the monarch.[5]

Damian Green search[edit]

In 2008, Pay became embroiled in political controversy when it was revealed she was the official who had consented to a police search on Damian Green's Commons office.[2] There was some suggestion that Pay was made a scapegoat in order to protect the reputation of the then Commons Speaker Michael Martin.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UK Parliament "Serjeant at Arms" Check |url= value (help). Parliament.uk. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Walker, Peter (3 December 2008). "Damian Green row: Profile of Jill Pay, serjeant at arms". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Jill Pay (13 October 2011). "Retirement letter" (PDF). Parliament.uk. 
  4. ^ a b Kirkup, James (3 December 2008). "Damian Green affair: Profile of Jill Pay". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Warner, Gerald (3 December 2008). "Michael Martin trapped by the consequences of his own chippy 'reform'". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 7 August 2013. the Queen to refuse her the private audience traditionally granted to an incoming Sergeant at Arms 
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Grant Peterkin
Serjeant at Arms of the British House of Commons
Succeeded by
Lawrence Ward