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The Prime Minister & Cabinet System 1.Introduction 2. Membership (a) The Prime Minister (b) Selection of other Ministers 3.The PM and Organisation of.

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Presentation on theme: "The Prime Minister & Cabinet System 1.Introduction 2. Membership (a) The Prime Minister (b) Selection of other Ministers 3.The PM and Organisation of."— Presentation transcript:

1

2 The Prime Minister & Cabinet System

3 1.Introduction 2. Membership (a) The Prime Minister (b) Selection of other Ministers 3.The PM and Organisation of the Cabinet (a) The Cabinet Office (b) The PMs Office (continued….

4 4.The Cabinet at Work (a) Cabinet Committees (i) Origins and Status (ii) Organisation (b) Full Cabinet (i) Role (ii) Restrictions (iii) Conduct of Business 6. Prime Ministerial or Cabinet Government 7. Conclusions

5 1. Introduction

6 What is the cabinet? The Cabinet is a Convention of the Constitution The collective leadership of the majority party in the House of Commons Cabinet or cabinet system?

7 2. Membership Convention: Members of Parliament Convention: PM sits in the Commons Convention: PM leader of majority party/coalition in the House of Commons

8 (a) The Prime Minister Emerged in reign of George III Walpole, –strongest in the closet –could bring in supporters and remove enemies –ability to sustain the kings policy in parliament all men have their price

9 (b) Selection of Ministers Chosen by PM –exception: all elected members of Labours incoming Parliamentary Committee Considerations –Prestige of PM in relation to Parliament, Party, & electors –Prestige of potential minister in relation to Parliament, Party & electors –The number and quality of candidates

10 ….some different approaches MacLeod: Not who, but where? Thatcher: It must be a conviction government. As prime minister I could not waste time having arguments Major kept the bastards inside the tent

11 3. The PM & Organisation of the Cabinet The Cabinet Office The Prime Ministers Office

12 (a) The Cabinet Office Headed by Cabinet Secretary, who is also head of the Civil Service Prepares Agenda for Cabinet meetings Issues instructions to ministers Organises and services Cabinet committees

13 (b) The Prime Ministers Office The Private Office The Political Office The Policy Directorate The Press Office

14 4. The Cabinet at Work Works differently under different Prime Ministers Cabinet Committees Cabinet Meetings

15 (a) Cabinet Committees: (i)Origins and Status Established 1903 Practices codified post-1945 Not officially recognised until 1990s Serviced by the Cabinet Office

16 (ii) Organisation Membership Deals with –inter-departmental matters –specific issues Duration –Standing Committees –Ad Hoc Committees

17 Assist Prime Ministerial Influence, because he…. Determines the structure Determines the terms of reference Determines the membership Appoints the chairmen Has sole rights of appeal to full cabinet against a committee decision

18 (d) The Full Cabinet

19 (i) Role of the Full Cabinet Symbolic of the link between Parliamentary Government and the Executive Purpose –to keep members informed of major developments –to resolve outstanding departmental conflicts –to test opinion on larger issues

20 (ii) Restrictions Excluded from discussion –security affairs –the budget Dissolution and Distribution of Honours for PM alone Time taken up by –report on following weeks parliamentary business –routine report on foreign affairs

21 (iii) Conduct of Business Frequency & Timing of Meetings Chaired by PM Agenda determined by PM No formal votes Ministers largely tied to departmental interests Character of meetings determined by PM

22 5. Doctrines: Conventions Collective Responsibility –a member of the cabinet (and government) has to support all the policies of the government Individual Responsibility (Redundant) –a minister is personally responsible to parliament for the operation of the department

23 6. Prime Ministerial or Cabinet Power Prime Ministers have always been powerful The Cabinet System favours the Prime Minister even when he is weak The problem of overload makes it difficult for any one person to have a grip across the whole range of decision-making

24 7. Conclusions Focal point of Executive authority Link between Legislative, Executive and Judiciary Most work is done through Committee System Institutionally the PM is pre- eminent


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