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Encyclopedia > Cabinet of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the United Kingdom
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In the politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body composed of the most senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister. Most members are heads of government departments with the title "Secretary of State". Formal members of the Cabinet are drawn exclusively from the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The British monarch or Sovereign is the head of state of the United Kingdom and in the British overseas territories. ... Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Commons House of Lords Speaker of the House of Commons The Right Honourable Michael Martin MP Lord Speaker Hélène Hayman, Baroness Hayman, PC Members 1377 (646 Commons, 731 Peers) Political groups (as of May 5, 2005 elections) Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats... In the United Kingdom, the State Opening of Parliament is an annual event held usually in October or November that marks the commencement of a session of Parliament. ... The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is also commonly referred to as the Lords. The Sovereign, the House of Commons (which is the lower house of Parliament and referred to as the Commons), and the Lords together comprise the Parliament. ... The Lord Speaker (or Lady Speaker) will be a new position in the British Parliament created once the Constitutional Reform Acts provisions about the Speakership of the House of Lords comes into effect. ... Hélène Valerie Hayman, Baroness Hayman, PC, née Middleweek (born 26 March 1949) is a Labour policitian. ... The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... In the United Kingdom, the Speaker of the House of Commons is the presiding officer of the House of Commons, and is seen historically as the First Commoner of the Land. ... Michael John Martin MP (born 3 July 1945) is the current Speaker of the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. ... Tony Blair at PMQs Prime Ministers Questions (officially Questions to the Prime Minister) is a constitutional convention in the United Kingdom, where every Wednesday when the House of Commons is sitting the Prime Minister spends half an hour answering questions from Members of Parliament (MPs). In Canada this convention... Her Majestys Government, or when the Sovereign is male, His Majestys Government, abbreviated HMG or HM Government, is the formal title used by the Government of the United Kingdom. ... Her Majestys Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. ... The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ... For other people with the same name, see Gordon Brown (disambiguation). ... The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor and prior to the Union the Chancellor of England and the Lord Chancellor of Scotland, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom, and its predecessor states. ... John Whitaker Straw (born August 3, 1946) is a British Labour Party politician. ... The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister responsible for all economic and financial matters. ... Alistair Maclean Darling (born November 28, 1953) is a British politician. ... The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (commonly referred to as Foreign Secretary) is a member of the British Government responsible for relations with foreign countries, heading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (often called simply the Foreign Office). ... David Wright Miliband (born 15 July 1965) is a British politician who is the current Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [1] and Member of Parliament for the constituency of South Shields, Tyne and Wear. ... The Secretary of State for the Home Department, commonly known as the Home Secretary, is the minister in charge of the United Kingdom Home Office and is responsible for internal affairs in England and Wales, and for immigration and citizenship for the whole United Kingdom (including Scotland and Northern Ireland). ... Jacqueline Jill Smith (born 3 November 1962, Malvern, Worcestershire, England) is a politician in the United Kingdom. ... Gordon Brown is currently serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ... Her Majestys Government of the United Kingdom contains a number of Ministers and Secretaries of State. ... The British civil service is the permanent bureaucracy that supports the Government Ministers responsible to the Sovereign and Parliament in administering the United Kingdom. ... Her Majestys Loyal Opposition, or the Official Opposition in the United Kingdom is the largest opposition party in the House of Commons. ... The Leader of the Opposition in the United Kingdom is the politician who leads Her Majestys Most Loyal Opposition. ... David William Donald Cameron (born 9 October 1966) is the Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition in the United Kingdom, positions he has occupied since December 2005. ... The Official Loyal Opposition Shadow Cabinet (normally referred to simply as The Shadow Cabinet) is, in British parliamentary practice, a group of members from Her Majestys Loyal Opposition whose job it is to scrutinise their opposite numbers in government and come up with alternative policies. ... The United Kingdom does not have a single unified judicial system: England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland another. ... Schematic of court system for England and Wales The United Kingdom does not have a single unified judicial system—England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland a third. ... The United Kingdom does not have a single unified judicial system — England and Wales have one system, Scotland another, and Northern Ireland a third. ... The Courts of Scotland are the civil, criminal and heraldic courts responsible for the administration of justice in Scotland. ... The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... For the national legislative body up to 1707, see Parliament of Scotland. ... The Executives logo, shown with English and Scottish Gaelic caption The term Scottish Executive is used in two different, but closely-related senses: to denote the executive arm of Scotlands national legislature (i. ... Type Unicameral Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas Members 60 Political groups (as of May 3, 2007 elections) Labour Plaid Cymru Conservative Liberal Democrats Meeting place Senedd, Cardiff, Wales Web site http://www. ... Official logo of the Welsh Assembly Government The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) (Welsh: , LlCC) was firstly an executive body of the National Assembly for Wales, consisting of the First Minister and his Cabinet from 1999 to 2007. ... The logo of the Northern Ireland Assembly, a six flowered linen or flax plant. ... The Northern Ireland Executive as established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 is the (currently suspended) executive body for Northern Ireland, answerable to the Northern Ireland Assembly. ... Regional Assembly is a title which has universally been adopted by the English bodies established as regional chambers under the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. ... In Scotland reserved matters, also referred to as reserved powers, are those subjects over which power to legislate is retained by Westminster, as explicitly stated in the Scotland Act 1998. ... There is no single system of local government in the United Kingdom. ... The Greater London Authority (GLA) administers the 1579 km² (610 sq. ... The United Kingdom has five distinct types of elections: general, local, regional, European and mayoral. ... Tony Blair William Hague Charles Kennedy The UK general election, 2001 was held on 7 June 2001 and was dubbed the quiet landslide by the media. ... The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005. ... Under the provisions of the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949, the next United Kingdom general election must be held on or before 3 June 2010. ... The United Kingdom House of Commons is made up of Members of Parliament (MPs). ... This is a list of political parties in the United Kingdom. ... The United Kingdom has a long and established tradition of respect for its citizens human rights. ... British Prime Minister Tony Blair (left) conducting diplomacy, hosted by the President of the United States, George W. Bush at Camp David in March 2003. ... The European Union or EU is a supranational and international organization of 27 member states. ... Information on politics by country is available for every country, including both de jure and de facto independent states, inhabited dependent territories, as well as areas of special sovereignty. ... Politics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland take place in the framework of a constitutional monarchy in which the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government. ... A minister or a secretary is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. ... The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ... Her Majestys Government of the United Kingdom contains a number of Ministers and Secretaries of State. ... In the United Kingdom, a Secretary of State is a Cabinet Minister in charge of a Government Department (though not all departments are headed by a Secretary of State, e. ... A cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of government, typically representing the executive branch. ... The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is also commonly referred to as the Lords. The Sovereign, the House of Commons (which is the lower house of Parliament and referred to as the Commons), and the Lords together comprise the Parliament. ...


In traditional constitutional theory, in the British system of government, the Cabinet is the key formal decision making body of the executive. This interpretation was originally put across in the work of nineteenth century constitutionalists such as Walter Bagehot (who described the Cabinet as the 'efficient secret' of the British political system in his book 'The English Constitution'), and the extent to which it is a decision maker today is clearly reduced, with some claiming its role has been usurped by 'Prime-Ministerial Government'. The Houses of Parliament in London The Westminster system is a democratic, parliamentary system of government modeled after that of the United Kingdom system, as used in the Palace of Westminster, the location of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... Walter Bagehot (3 February 1826 – 24 March 1877), IPA (see [[1]]), was a nineteenth century British economist. ... The English Constitution is a book by Walter Bagehot. ...


Originally, the Cabinet merely served as a sub-committee to the Privy Council. However, the modern Cabinet system as we recognize it was set up by David Lloyd George when he was Prime Minister 1916-22, with a Cabinet Office and Secretariat, committee structures, Minutes, and a clearer relationship with departmental Cabinet Ministers. This grew out of the exigencies of the First World War, where decisions were necessarily needed to be taken more swiftly and in more coordinated way across Government - as Lloyd George himself said, "War is too important to be left to the generals." Decisions on mass conscription, co-ordination world-wide with other governments across international theatres, armament production tied into a general war strategy that could be developed and overseen from an inner "War Cabinet" 10 Downing Street, are all clear elements retained today. As the country went through successive crises after the 1922 - 1926 General Strike, the Great Depression of 1929-32; the rise of Fascism after 1922; the Spanish Civil War 1936 onwards; the invasion of Abyssinia 1936; the League of Nations Crisis which followed; the re-armament and resurgence of Germany from 1933, plus the lead into another World War - all demanded a highly organized and centralized Government based around the Cabinet. Her Majestys Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. ... David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor, OM, PC (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was a British statesman who guided Britain and the British Empire through World War I and the postwar settlement as the Liberal Party Prime Minister, 1916-1922. ... The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet in progressing matters that require coordination across Government departments. ... Secretariat may refer to: A racehorse who won the Triple Crown in 1973, see Secretariat (horse) In a Communist Party, a Secretariat is a key body that controls the central administration of the party, and if it is a ruling party, the country. ... Bold text:This article is about the written record of a meeting. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... A War Cabinet is committee formed by a government in time of war. ... Prime Minister Tony Blair and U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney stand in front of the famous main door to Number 10. ... A general strike is a strike action by an entire labour force in a city, region or country. ... The Great Depression was a time of economic down turn, which started after the stock market crash on October 29, 1929, known as Black Tuesday. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... Combatants Spanish Republic With the support of: Soviet Union[1] Nationalist Spain With the support of: Italy Germany Commanders Manuel Azaña Francisco Largo Caballero Juan Negrín Francisco Franco Gonzalo Queipo de Llano Emilio Mola José Sanjurjo Casualties 500,000[2] The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict... This article needs cleanup. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000...


This centralization inevitably enhanced the power of the Prime Minister, who moved from being the primus inter pares of the Asquith Cabinets of 1906 onwards, with a glittering set of huge individual talents leading powerful departments, to the dominating figures of Lloyd George, Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill. David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor, OM (January 17, 1863–March 26, 1945) was a British statesman and the last Liberal to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ... Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, KG, PC (3 August 1867 – 14 December 1947) was a British statesman and thrice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ... Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician, soldier in the British Army, orator, and strategist, and is studied as part of the modern British and world history. ...

Contents

Historical

The notion of a cabinet supporting the chief executive of the government, at least within England, dates back to medieval times. Medieval English monarchs often headed "cabinets", which consisted of ministers who advised the monarch and implemented his decisions. The term "minister" came into being since the English sovereign's ministers "ministered" the will of the king. In this period, the English monarch was an absolute monarch, and as such directly exercised all of the executive powers of the realm. Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem - the  United Kingdom anthem God Save the Queen is commonly used England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Unified  -  by Athelstan 927 AD  Area  -  Total 130... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times. ...


Traditional cabinets of medieval England consisted of:

The household is the basic unit of analysis in many microeconomic and government models. ... The position of Lord High Steward of England, not to be confused with the Lord Steward, a court functionary, is the first of the Great Officers of State. ... The Lord High Treasurer bears a white staff as his symbol of office. ... The Lord Privy Seal or Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal is one of the traditional sinecure offices in the British Cabinet. ... The Lord Great Chamberlain of England is the sixth of the Great Officers of State, ranking beneath the Lord Privy Seal and above the Lord High Constable. ... The wardrobe, along with the chamber, made up the personal part of medieval English government known as the kings household. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... Admiralty courts, also known as maritime courts, are courts exercising jurisdiction over all maritime contracts, torts, injuries and offences. ... One of the courts of equity in England and Wales. ... Postdlf 06:03, 2 May 2005 (UTC) Categories: Possible copyright violations ... The Exchequer of Pleas or Exchequer was one of the three common-law courts of Medieval and Early Modern England. ... One of the ancient courts of England, the Kings Bench (or Queens Bench when the monarch is female) is now a division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. ... The Lord High Constable of England is the seventh of the Great Officers of State, ranking beneath the Lord Great Chamberlain and above the Earl Marshal. ... Earl Marshal (alternatively Marschal or Marischal) is an ancient chivalric title used separately in England, Ireland and the United Kingdom. ... For the international law of the sea, see Admiralty law. ...

Composition

The Prime Minister uses royal prerogative powers of patronage to appoint and dismiss members of the Cabinet and therefore requires the formal approval of the monarch for any appointment to the Cabinet. Today, the monarch's approval is merely token, and has not been denied in recent history. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ... The Royal Prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognised in common law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the Crown alone. ... The British monarch or Sovereign is the monarch and head of state of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories, and is the source of all executive, judicial and (as the Queen-in-Parliament) legislative power. ...


Any change to the composition of the Cabinet involving more than one appointment is customarily referred to as a reshuffle. The total number of ministers allowed to be paid as "Cabinet ministers" (22) is governed by statute (Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975), and this has caused successive Prime Ministers problems, and accounts for some of the unusual regular attendees at Cabinet, who are not paid as "Cabinet ministers". The numbers fluctuate between 21 and 24. In the parliamentary system a cabinet shuffle is an informal term for an event that occurs when a Head of Government rotates or changes the composition of ministers in his or her cabinet. ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ...


The Cabinet has always been led by the Prime Minister, although the role of the Prime Minister is traditionally described as primus inter pares, first among equals, though clearly this is a nominal status rather than a reality—after all, it is the Prime Minister alone who appoints/dismisses Cabinet Ministers and sets the agenda for Cabinet individually and through the Cabinet Secretary. It was Tony Blair's decision alone to reduce Cabinet meetings to once-weekly from Tuesdays and Thursdays, just as he chose to consolidate the Tuesday/Thursday Prime Minister's Questions in the Commons to once-weekly on Wednesdays, although remaining exposed for the same total time. So, the extent to which the Prime Minister is collegial depends on political conditions and individual personalities. In the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister is the head of government, exercising many of the executive functions nominally vested in the Sovereign, who is head of state. ... First among equals is a phrase which indicates that a person is the most senior of a group of people sharing the same rank or office. ... In the British Government, the Cabinet Secretary, or more formally Secretary of the Cabinet, is the senior civil servant in charge of the Cabinet Office, a department that provides administrative support to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and the government as a whole. ...


In formal constitutional terms, the Cabinet is a committee of the Privy Council. All Cabinet members are created Privy Councillors on appointment and therefore use the style "The Right Honourable". As members of the House of Lords are "The Right Honourable" or hold a higher style as of right, Privy Councillors in the Lords place the letters "PC" after their names to distinguish themselves. Her Majestys Most Honourable Privy Council is a body of advisors to the British Sovereign. ... The Right Honourable (abbreviated The Rt Hon. ... Forms of address used in the United Kingdom are given below. ...


Recent custom has been that the composition of the Cabinet has been made up almost entirely of members of the House of Commons. The office of Leader of the House of Lords is by neccesity occupied by a member of the House of Lords, but apart from this it is now rare for a peer to sit in the Cabinet. The role of Lord Chancellor was, until recently, always occupied by a member of the House of Lords, however since the creation of the office of Lord Speaker this is no longer necessary and the current post holder is Jack Straw, a member of the House of Commons. The former Leader of the Lords, Lady Amos, was the last peer to sit in any other Cabinet post, as Secretary of State for International Development from May to October 2003. The last Secretary of State for a major department drawn from the Lords was Lord Young of Graffham, serving between 1985 and 1989 as Secretary of State for Employment until 1987 and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry until 1989. Interestingly, the number of junior ministers who are peers has increased since 1997, though being a peer can be a block to Cabinet-advancement. The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... Leader of the House of Lords is a function in the British government that is always held in combination with a formal Cabinet position, most often Lord President of the Council, Lord Privy Seal or Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. ... The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor and prior to the Union the Chancellor of England and the Lord Chancellor of Scotland, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom, and its predecessor states. ... The Lord Speaker (or Lady Speaker) will be a new position in the British Parliament created once the Constitutional Reform Acts provisions about the Speakership of the House of Lords comes into effect. ... Jack Straw was/is the name of two famous individuals: John Whitaker Straw (born August 3, 1946), commonly known as Jack Straw, is a British Labour Party politician. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... Valerie Ann Amos, Baroness Amos, PC (born 13 March 1954), is a British Labour Party politician and life peer, currently serving as Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. ... In the United Kingdom, the Secretary of State for International Development is a Cabinet minister responsible for promoting development overseas, particularly in the third world. ... In several countries, Secretary of State is a senior government position. ... David Ivor Young, Baron Young of Graffham, PC DL (born February 27, 1932) was a British Conservative politician and businessman. ... Minister of Labour re-directs here. ... The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is a cabinet position in the United Kingdom government. ...


A small number of other ministers below Secretary of State level may also be included in Cabinet meetings as a matter of course. The Attorney General (currently Baroness Scotland), together with the chair of the governing parliamentary party, are customarily included and other members of the Government can be invited at the Prime Minister's discretion. In most common law jurisdictions, the Attorney General is the main legal adviser to the government, and in some jurisdictions may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions. ... Patricia Janet Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, PC, QC (born 19 August 1955) is a barrister and the current Attorney General for England and Wales, a ministerial position in the British Government. ...


In recent years, non-members of HM Government have been permitted by the Prime Minister to attend Cabinet meetings on a regular basis, notably Alastair Campbell in his capacity as Director of Communications and Strategy between 1997 and 2003, and Jonathan Powell, Tony Blair's Chief of Staff, with a distinctly separate role from the Cabinet Secretary/Head of the Civil Service. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In public relations, spin is a usually pejorative term signifying a heavily biased portrayal in ones own favor of an event or situation that is designed to bring about the most positive result possible. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other people of the same name, see Tony Blair (disambiguation) Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born May 6, 1953)[1] is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the Labour Party, and Member of Parliament for the constituency... The term Chief of Staff can refer to: The White House Chief of Staff, the highest-ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States. ... In the British Government, the Cabinet Secretary, or more formally Secretary of the Cabinet, is the senior civil servant in charge of the Cabinet Office, a department that provides administrative support to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and the government as a whole. ... The Byzantine civil service in action. ...


Meetings of the Cabinet

The Cabinet meets on a regular basis, usually weekly on a Thursday morning, notionally to discuss the most important issues of government policy, and to make decisions. The length of meetings vary according to the style of the Prime Minister and political conditions, but today meetings can be as little as 30 minutes in length, which suggests ratification of decisions taken in committee or in bi-lateral discussions between the Prime Minister and individual departmental Cabinet colleagues, with discussion in Cabinet itself somewhat curtailed.


The Cabinet has numerous sub-committees which focus particular policy areas, particularly ones which cut across several ministerial responsibilities, and therefore need coordination. These may be permanent committees or set up for a short duration to look at particular issues ("ad hoc committees"). Junior Ministers are also often members of these committees, in addition to Secretaries of State. The transaction of government business through meetings of the Cabinet and its many committees is administered by a small secretariat within the Cabinet Office. A committee is a (relatively) small group that can serve one of several functions: Governance: in organizations too large for all the members to participate in decisions affecting the organization as a whole, a committee (such as a Board of Directors) is given the power to make decisions. ... Ad hoc is a Latin phrase which means for this [purpose]. It generally signifies a solution that has been tailored to a specific purpose, such as a tailor-made suit, a handcrafted network protocol, and specific-purpose equation and things like that. ... Junior ministers are usually ministers of below cabinet rank, such as Ministers of State and Parliamentary under Secretaries of State in the UK. Although they do not usually head a department, the actual power that these ministers hold varies from person to person. ... The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet in progressing matters that require coordination across Government departments. ...


In practice, and increasingly in recent years, weekly meetings of the full Cabinet have tended to be more concerned with the exchange of information and ratification of decisions, major decisions being taken by Cabinet Committees or in informal groups, often bi-laterals between the Prime Minister and an individual minister.


Most Prime Ministers have had a so-called "kitchen cabinet" consisting of their own trusted advisers who may be Cabinet members but are often trusted personal advisers on their own staff. In recent governments (generally from Margaret Thatcher), and especially in that of Tony Blair, it has been reported that many, or even all major decisions have been said to be made before cabinet meetings. This suggestion has been made by former ministers such as Clare Short and Chris Smith, in the media, and was made clear in the Butler Review, where Blair's style of "sofa government" was censured. Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC (born October 13, 1925), former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in office from 1979 to 1990. ... For other people of the same name, see Tony Blair (disambiguation) Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born May 6, 1953)[1] is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the Labour Party, and Member of Parliament for the constituency... Clare Short (born 15 February 1946) is a British politician and a member of the British Labour Party. ... Christopher Robert Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury, PC (born 24 July 1951) is a British Labour Party politician and former Member of Parliament and Cabinet minister. ... On February 3, 2004 the British Government announced an inquiry into the intelligence relating to Iraqs weapons of mass destruction which played a key part in the Governments decision to invade Iraq (as part of the U.S.-led coalition) in 2003. ...


Relationship with Parliament

Two key constitutional conventions regarding the accountability of the cabinet to Parliament exist, collective cabinet responsibility and individual ministerial responsibility. These are derived from the fact the members of the cabinet are members of Parliament, and therefore accountable to it, because Parliament is sovereign. Cabinet collective responsibility means that members of the cabinet make decisions collectively, and are therefore responsible for the consequences of these decisions collectively. Therefore, when a vote of no confidence is passed in Parliament, every minister and government official drawn from Parliament is expected to resign from the executive. So, logically, cabinet ministers who disagree with major decisions are expected to resign, as, to take a recent example, Robin Cook did over the decision to attack Iraq in 2003. The House of Commons is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. ... Parliamentary sovereignty, parliamentary supremacy, or legislative supremacy is a concept in constitutional law that applies to some parliamentary democracies. ... Cabinet collective responsibility is constitutional convention in the states that use the Westminster System. ... A Motion of No Confidence, also called Motion of Non Confidence is a parliamentary motion traditionally put before a parliament by the opposition in the hope of defeating or embarrassing a government. ... Robert Finlayson Cook (28 February 1946 – 6 August 2005) was a politician in the British Labour Party. ...


Individual ministerial responsibility is the convention that in their capacity as head of department, a minister is responsible for the actions, and therefore the failings too, of their department. Since the civil service is permanent and anonymous, under circumstances of gross incompetence in their department, a minister 'must' resign. Perhaps surprisingly, this is relatively rare in practice, perhaps because, whilst many would consider incompetence more harmful than personal scandal, it is of less interest to more populist elements of the media, and less susceptible to unequivocal proof. The closest example in recent years is perhaps Estelle Morris who resigned as Secretary of State for Education and Skills in 2002 of her own volition (following severe problems and inaccuracies in the marking of A-level exams). The circumstances under which this convention is followed are of course not possible to strictly define, and depend on many other factors. If a minister's reputation is seen to be tarnished by a personal scandal (for example when it was revealed that David Mellor had an extra-marital affair) they very often resign. This often follows a short period of intense media and opposition pressure for them to do so. In general, despite numerous scandals, in Britain cases of serious corruption (e.g. acceptance of bribes) are relatively rare in comparison with many other democracies. One reason is because of the strength of the whip system and political parties in comparison to individual politicians. This means MPs and ministers have little capacity to be influenced by external groups offering money. The Byzantine civil service in action. ... Estelle Morris, Baroness Morris of Yardley, PC (born 1952) is an English Labour politician and member of the House of Lords. ... The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is the chief minister of the Department for Education and Skills in the United Kingdom government. ... The A-level, short for Advanced Level, is a General Certificate of Education qualification in the United Kingdom, usually taken by students in the final two years of secondary education (commonly called the Sixth Form), or in College (not to be mistaken with the college term some countries such as... The Right Honourable David Mellor (born 12 March 1949) is a British Conservative politician and barrister. ...


Questions can be tabled for Cabinet ministers in either houses of Parliament (a process called interpellation in political science), which can either be for written or oral reply. Cabinet ministers must answer them, either themselves or through a deputy. Written answers, which are usually more specific and detailed than oral questions are usually written by a civil servant. Answers to written and oral questions are published in Hansard. Parliament cannot dismiss individual ministers (though members may of course call for their resignation) but the House of Commons is able to determine the fate of the entire Government. If a vote of no confidence in the Government passes, then The Queen will seek to restore confidence either by a dissolution of Parliament and the election of a new one, or by the acceptance of the resignation of her entire government collectively. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Hansard is the traditional name for the printed transcripts of parliamentary debates in the Westminster system of government. ... A Motion of No Confidence, also called Motion of Non Confidence is a parliamentary motion traditionally put before a parliament by the opposition in the hope of defeating or embarrassing a government. ...


In the United Kingdom's parliamentary system, the executive is not separate from the legislature, since Cabinet members are drawn from Parliament. Moreover the executive tends to dominate the legislature for several reasons: A legislature is a type of representative deliberative assembly with the power to adopt laws. ...

  • the first-past-the-post voting system (which tends to give a large majority to the governing party)
  • the power of the Government Whips (whose role is to ensure party members vote in accordance with an agreed line)
  • the "payroll vote" (a term which refers to the fact that members of the governing party who are on the government payroll (e.g. as junior ministers) would be dismissed if they voted against the government).

The combined effect of the Prime Minister's ability to control Cabinet by circumventing effective discussion in Cabinet and the executive's ability to dominate parliamentary proceedings places the British Prime Minister in a position of great power that has been likened to an elective dictatorship (a phrase coined by Lord Hailsham in 1976). The relative impotence of Parliament to hold the Government of the day to account is often cited by the UK media as a justification for the vigour with which they question and challenge the Government. The first-past-the-post electoral system is a voting system for single-member districts, variously called first-past-the-post (FPTP or FPP), winner-take-all, plurality voting, or relative majority. ... A voting system is a means of choosing between a number of options, based on the input of a number of voters. ... In politics, a whip is a member of a political party in a legislature whose task is to ensure that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. ... Payroll vote is a term in the British Parliamentary System for the office-holders, paid or unpaid, among a partys MPs or peers who are obliged either to support their partys position in whipped votes or to resign. ... The phrase elective dictatorship (also called executive dominance in political science) was coined by the former Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom, Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, in a Richard Dimbleby Lecture at the BBC in 1976[1]. It describes the state in which Parliament is dominated by... Quintin McGarel Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone, KG, CH, PC, QC (October 9, 1907 – October 12, 2001), formerly 2nd Viscount Hailsham (1950–1963), was a British Conservative politician. ...


In contemporary times, the nature of the cabinet has been criticized by some, largely because several Prime Ministers are perceived as acting in a "presidential" manner. Such an accusation was made at Tony Blair as he was believed to have refrained from using the Cabinet as a collective decision-making body[1]. These actions caused concern as it contravened the convention of the PM being "first among equals". In this sense, he was acting like a US President, who (unlike the British PM) is not constitutionally bound to make decisions collectively with a cabinet. Margaret Thatcher was also noted as being "presidential", in the capacity that she "forced" her own viewpoints onto her Cabinet. However the power that a Prime Minster has over his or her Cabinet colleagues is directly proportional to the amount of support that they have with their political parties and this is often related to whether the party considers them to be an electoral asset or liability. Further when a party is divided into factions a Prime Minster may be forced to include other powerful party members in the Cabinet for party political cohesion. For other people of the same name, see Tony Blair (disambiguation) Anthony Charles Lynton Blair (born May 6, 1953)[1] is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, Leader of the Labour Party, and Member of Parliament for the constituency... The presidential seal is a well-known symbol of the presidency. ... Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC (born October 13, 1925), former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, in office from 1979 to 1990. ...


Shadow Cabinet

Main article: Shadow Cabinet

The Official Opposition (the party with the second largest number of elected members of Parliament, currently the Conservative Party) is headed by a similar group called the Shadow Cabinet. The Shadow Cabinet (also called the Shadow Front Bench) is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition (or the leader of other smaller opposition parties) form an alternative cabinet to the governments, whose... Her Majestys Loyal Opposition, or the Official Opposition in the United Kingdom is the largest opposition party in the House of Commons. ... The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is the second largest political party in the United Kingdom in terms of sitting Members of Parliament (MPs), the largest in terms of public membership, and is the second oldest extant political party in the world. ... The Shadow Cabinet (also called the Shadow Front Bench) is a senior group of opposition spokespeople in the Westminster system of government who together under the leadership of the Leader of the Opposition (or the leader of other smaller opposition parties) form an alternative cabinet to the governments, whose...


The parliamentary leadership of other opposition parties are conventional known as their Frontbench Team, but in recent years the Liberal Democrat Party, currently the third-largest party in Parliament, have started to also use the term Shadow Cabinet.[2] The Liberal Democrats are the third-largest political party in the United Kingdom. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...


Current cabinet

See also: Cabinet of the United Kingdom/Earlier cabinets

Following his appointment as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown announced his first Cabinet on 28 June 2007. [edit table] The final cabinet of Tony Blair. ... For other people with the same name, see Gordon Brown (disambiguation). ... is the 179th day of the year (180th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...

Portfolio Minister
Prime Minister
First Lord of the Treasury
Minister for the Civil Service
Gordon Brown
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
Secretary of State for Justice
Jack Straw
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Second Lord of the Treasury
Alistair Darling
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband
Secretary of State for the Home Department Jacqui Smith
Lord President of the Council
Leader of the House of Lords
The Baroness Ashton of Upholland
Lord Privy Seal
Leader of the House of Commons
Minister for Women and Equality
Harriet Harman
Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
President of The Board of Trade
John Hutton
Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport James Purnell
Secretary of State for Defence
Secretary of State for Scotland
Des Browne
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Hilary Benn
Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson
Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills John Denham
Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Shaun Woodward
Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Secretary of State for Wales
Peter Hain
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Minister for the Cabinet Office
Ed Miliband
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Andy Burnham
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
Chief Whip
Geoff Hoon
Office holders given special provisions to attend Cabinet
Minister for Housing Yvette Cooper
Minister for Africa, Asia and UN The Lord Malloch-Brown
Minister for the Olympics
Minister for London
Paymaster General
Tessa Jowell
Lords Chief Whip
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms
The Lord Grocott
Attorney General of England and Wales The Baroness Scotland of Asthal
Parliamentary Private Secretaries to the Prime Minister Ian Austin
Angela E Smith

Cabinet in this form from 28 June 2007 The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ... The First Lord of the Treasury is the head of the commission exercising the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer in the United Kingdom, usually but not always the Prime Minister. ... The Minister of the Civil Service is the head of the British Civil Service. ... For other people with the same name, see Gordon Brown (disambiguation). ... The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor and in former times Chancellor of England, is one of the most senior and important functionaries in the government of the United Kingdom. ... The Secretary of State for Justice is a United Kingdom cabinet position. ... Jack Straw was/is the name of two famous individuals: John Whitaker Straw (born August 3, 1946), commonly known as Jack Straw, is a British Labour Party politician. ... The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister responsible for all economic and financial matters. ... The Right Honourable Gordon Brown, PC, MP, current Chancellor of the Exchequer The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the ancient title held by the British cabinet minister whose responsibilities are akin to the posts of Minister for Finance or Secretary of the Treasury in other jurisdictions. ... Alistair Maclean Darling (born November 28, 1953) is a British politician. ... The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (commonly referred to as Foreign Secretary) is a member of the British Government responsible for relations with foreign countries, heading the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (often called simply the Foreign Office). ... David Wright Miliband (born 15 July 1965) is a British politician who is the current Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs [1] and Member of Parliament for the constituency of South Shields, Tyne and Wear. ... The Secretary of State for the Home Department (the Home Secretary) is the chief United Kingdom government minister responsible for law and order in England and Wales; his or her remit includes policing, the criminal justice system, the prison service, internal security, and matters of citizenship and immigration. ... Jacqueline Jill Smith (born 3 November 1962, Malvern, Worcestershire, England) is a politician in the United Kingdom. ... The Office of Lord President of the Council is a British cabinet position, the holder of which acts as presiding officer of the Privy Council. ... Leader of the House of Lords is a function in the British government that is always held in combination with a formal Cabinet position, most often Lord President of the Council, Lord Privy Seal or Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. ... Catherine Margaret Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland PC (born 20 March 1956) is a Labour member of the House of Lords. ... The Lord Privy Seal or Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal is one of the traditional sinecure offices in the British Cabinet. ... The Leader of the House of Commons is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons. ... The Minister of Women and Equality is a member of the United Kingdom Cabinet. ... Harriet Ruth Harman QC, MP (born July 30, 1950, London) is a British Solicitor and Labour politician. ... The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is a cabinet position in the United Kingdom government. ... The Board of Trade circa 1808. ... For other persons named John Hutton, see John Hutton (disambiguation). ... The Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families is a Cabinet minister in the United Kingdom. ... Edward Michael Balls (born February 25, 1967) is a British politician, and Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for the West Yorkshire constituency of Normanton. ... The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, formerly Minister of State for Communities and Local Government, is a Cabinet position currently within the UKs Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, formerly headed by John Prescott. ... Hazel Anne Blears MP (born May 14, 1956) is a British politician and is the Labour Member of Parliament for Salford. ... The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is a UK cabinet position with responsibility for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. ... James Mark Dakin Purnell (born 2 March 1970, London) is a politician in the United Kingdom. ... The Secretary of State for Defence is the senior United Kingdom government minister in charge of the Ministry of Defence. ... The Secretary of State for Scotland (Rùnaire Stàite na h-Alba in Scottish Gaelic) is the chief minister in the government of the United Kingdom with responsibilites for Scotland, at the head of the Scotland Office (formerly The Scottish Office). ... The Right Honourable Desmond Henry Browne MP (born March 22, 1952) British politician and barrister. ... The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is a UK cabinet-level position in charge of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the successor to the positions of Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Secretary of State for the Environment. ... Hilary James Wedgwood Benn (November 26, 1953) is a British politician, a current member of the British cabinet as Secretary of State for International Development and Labour Member of Parliament for the West Yorkshire constituency of Leeds Central. ... Minister of Health redirects here. ... Alan Arthur Johnson MP (born 17 May 1950, London) is a British Labour Party politician. ... The Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills is a Cabinet minister in the United Kingdom. ... John Yorke Denham (born July 15, 1953) British politician, Labour Member of Parliament for Southampton Itchen and Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills. ... In the United Kingdom, the Secretary of State for International Development is a Cabinet minister responsible for promoting development overseas, particularly in the third world. ... Douglas Garven Alexander (born October 26, 1967) is a British politician who is Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Scotland He is the Member of Parliament for the Scottish constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire South representing the Labour Party. ... The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is the British cabinet minister who has responsibility for the government of Northern Ireland. ... Shaun Anthony Woodward (born October 26, 1958, Bristol) is a British politician, and Labour Member of Parliament for St Helens South. ... The Secretary of State for Transport is the member of the cabinet responsible for the British Department for Transport. ... Ruth Maria Kelly (born 9 May 1968) is a British politician. ... The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is a position in the UK cabinet, responsible for the Department for Work and Pensions. ... The Secretary of State for Wales is the head of the Wales Office within the United Kingdom cabinet. ... Peter Gerald Hain PC MP (born February 16, 1950, Nairobi, Kenya) is a British Labour Party politician, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Secretary of State for Wales. ... The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is, in modern times, a sinecure office in the British government. ... Cabinet Office can be either: Cabinet Office in the United Kingdom, Cabinet Office in Japan. ... Edward Samuel Miliband (born December 24, 1969, London) is a British economist and politician. ... The Chief Secretary to the Treasury is a junior position in the British Cabinet. ... Andrew Murray Burnham (born January 7, United Kingdom. ... This article is about various offices in the government of the United Kingdom. ... The Chief Whip is a political office in some legislatures assigned to an elected member whose task is to administer the whipping system that ensures that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. ... Geoff Hoon (right) at Pentagon briefing Geoffrey William Geoff Hoon (born December 6, 1953) is a British politician. ... Yvette Cooper (born March 20, 1969) British politician. ... George Mark Malloch Brown, Baron Malloch-Brown, KCMG, PC (born 1953 in England) is Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for Africa, Asia and the United Nations. ... The Minister for the Olympics is a new position within the United Kingdom Cabinet created as a result of the selection of London to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. ... Paymaster-General is a ministerial position in the UK. The portfolio consists of the workings of HM Revenue and Customs, formerly HM Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise, and reports to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. ... Tessa Jowell (born September 17, 1947 in London) is a British politician who is Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Minister for the Olympics, following the selection of London to host the 2012 Olympic Games. ... The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is also commonly referred to as the Lords. The Sovereign, the House of Commons (which is the lower house of Parliament and referred to as the Commons), and the Lords together comprise the Parliament. ... The Chief Whip is a political office in some legislatures assigned to an elected member whose task is to administer the whipping system that ensures that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. ... The Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms is a UK government post usually held by the Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords. ... Bruce Grocott, Baron Grocott, PC (born November 1, 1940), is a politician in the United Kingdom. ... Her Majestys Attorney General for England and Wales, usually known as the Attorney General, is the chief legal adviser of the Crown in England and Wales. ... Patricia Janet Scotland, Baroness Scotland of Asthal PC QC (born August 19, 1955) is a barrister and minister in the United Kingdom government. ... A Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) is a junior role given to a United Kingdom Member of Parliament (MP). ... Ian Christopher Austin (March 6, 1965) British politician and Labour Party Member of Parliament for Dudley North. ... Angela Evans Smith (born 7 January United Kingdom. ... is the 179th day of the year (180th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...


Source: www.pm.gov.uk


References

  1. ^ Blair cabinet 'took one decision in eight months'. The Guardian (2007-05-30). Retrieved on 2007-06-02.
  2. ^ http://www.libdems.org.uk/party/people/shadow.html

The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ... is the 153rd day of the year (154th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

Alternate meanings in cabinet (disambiguation) A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of government, typically representing the executive branch. ... Her Majestys Government of the United Kingdom contains a number of Ministers and Secretaries of State. ... These tables shall encompass the ministries of the United Kingdom & Great Britain. ...

External links

  • Cabinet Office website
  • Cabinet Office - List of Government Ministers
  • 10 Downing Street - Her Majesty's Government (Cabinet members, listed in order of tenure in the Cabinet)
  • 10 Downing Street - Full list of Her Majesty's Government (which includes various junior Ministers too)
  • BBC news website - The Cabinet

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cabinet of the United Kingdom information - Search.com (2048 words)
In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body comprised of government officials chosen by the Prime Minister.
So logically, cabinet ministers that disagree with major decisions are expected to resign, as to take a recent example, Robin Cook did over the decision to attack Iraq in 2003.
In the United Kingdom's parliamentary system, the executive is not separate from the legislature, since Cabinet members are drawn from Parliament.
Cabinet of the United Kingdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1980 words)
In the Politics of the United Kingdom, the Cabinet is a formal body comprised of government officials chosen by the Prime Minister.
In formal constitutional terms, the Cabinet is a committee of the Privy Council; all Cabinet members are Privy Counsellors and therefore use the style "The Right Honourable".
In the United Kingdom's parliamentary system, the executive is not separate from the legislature, since Cabinet members are drawn from Parliament.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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