Presentation on theme: "The Queen Elizabeth II is a constitutional monarch: that is, she is Britain’s head of state, but her executive powers are limited by constitutional rules."— Presentation transcript:
The Queen Elizabeth II is a constitutional monarch: that is, she is Britain’s head of state, but her executive powers are limited by constitutional rules. Her role is mostly symbolic: she represents Britain on state visits and on ceremonial occasions. According to the royal website, her primary role is as a “focus of national unity”. She is queen of 16 former British colonies, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand; and head of the Commonwealth, a multinational body created after the dissolution of the British empire. The Prime Minister The Prime Minister is head of the UK government, currently David Cameron of the Conservative Party. He is ultimately responsible for all policy and decisions. He: oversees the operation of the Civil Service (which does the practical and administrative work of government) and government agencies appoints members of the government is the principal government figure in the House of Commons The Deputy Prime Minister The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg MP of the Liberal Democrats, is the deputy head of government. He is responsible for political and constitutional reform. Nick Clegg is also responsible for other government policy areas and is consulted on all decisions made by the Prime Minister. Coalition The Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government was formed on 10 May 2010. The coalition agreement sets out ajoint programme for government to “rebuild the economy, unlock social mobility, mend the political system and give people the power to call the shots over the decisions that affect their lives”.
House of Commons (the lower chamber, the UK is bicameral) The UK public elects 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) to represent their interests and concerns in the House of Commons. MPs consider and propose new laws, and can scrutinise government policies by asking ministers questions about current issues either in the Commons Chamber or in Committees. House of Lords The House of Lords is the second chamber of the UK Parliament. It is independent from, and complements the work of, the elected House of Commons. The Lords shares the task of making and shaping laws and checking and challenging the work of the government. Political parties in the Commons In addition to the main three parties, the Commons has a range of other political groups also elected by the public. This includes nationalist organisations like Plaid Cymru (Wales) and the Scottish National Party, Northern Ireland’s various political parties and minority parties like the Green Party or Respect. Political parties in the Lords Outside of the main parties there are a small number of Members that are not affiliated with a main political party and those belonging to minority groups. In addition there are a limited number of Church of England archbishops and bishops and the Crossbench Peers group. The Crossbench Peers group is currently the second largest group in the Lords (after Labour); and is formed by independent Members who don’t take a party whip – which means that they are not told how to vote by a political party.
The Government of Wales Act 1998 first established the National Assembly for Wales. The Assembly acquired the executive functions of the former Welsh Office under that Act and subsequent executive functions via Acts of Parliament and transfer of functions orders. The Government of Wales Act ( GoWA ) 2006 led to the creation of a separate legislature (the National Assembly for Wales) and executive (the Welsh Government) following the May 2007 elections. What is devolved Schedule 7 to the Government of Wales Act 2006 defines the scope of the Assembly’s legislative competence to make Assembly Acts, within areas where the Welsh Ministers exercise executive functions. Schedule 7 categorises the existing areas of policy responsibility devolved to the Welsh Government into 20 broad areas. These areas, known as ‘subjects’, are: agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development ancient monuments and historic buildings culture economic development education and training environment fire and rescue services and promotion of fire safety food health and health services highways and transport housing local government National Assembly for Wales public administration social welfare sport and recreation tourism town and country planning water and flood defence Welsh language