Commons appoints new Serjeant at Arms

image copyrightUK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

The House of Commons has appointed a new Serjeant at Arms, responsible for keeping order during parliamentary debates.

Nigerian-born Ugbana Oyet, currently an electrical engineer in Parliament, will take over the role later this month.

He will replace Mohammed Kamal El-Hajji, who retired in the summer after holding the role since late 2015.

Mr Oyet, 43, said it would be a "great honour" to take up the ceremonial position, which dates back to 1415.

"I'm a real people-person and love working closely with MPs, staff and members of the public," said Mr Oyet, who moved to the UK with his family in 1991.

"I will do my best to enhance morale and improve the excellent service already provided by the Serjeant's office."

The Serjeant at Arms is responsible for keeping order within the Commons chamber, committee rooms and public areas.

The person holding the role is the only official in Parliament allowed to carry weapons, which include a gilt, fine-blade sword.

The Serjeant also plays a prominent role in certain parliamentary ceremonies, including carrying the mace at the state opening of Parliament.

Mr Oyet is currently spearheading efforts to make the parliamentary estate carbon neutral by 2050.

Commons authorities credit him with reducing annual electricity costs on the estate from £1m to £275,000 last year.

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