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Gov and Pol ­ Unit 1
Core Executive
CHRIS DAVIS…read more

Slide 2

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Core Executive
Core Executive in Britain is the network of key
institutions people and practices at the heart of Govt,
including the PM, Cabinet and its committees, the
PM and Cabinet Offices, the Govts law officers and
security and intelligence services.
Civil Servants ­ Traditionally servants of the Crown,
other than holders of political or judicial officers,
who are employed in a civil capacity and whose
remuneration is paid wholly and directly out of
moneys voted by Parliament.…read more

Slide 3

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Prime Ministers Office
Role of PM emerged in 1720's one would be wrong to
think that Prime ministerial power developed in a
straight line from that point to the present. ­ Disraeli
first PM to be called PM.
Sources of Prime Ministerial Power
Powers formally assigned to Monarch under the royal
prerogative but now exercised by the PM on Monarchs
behalf, control of armed forces, declare war, make
treaties, annex and cede territories, exercise patronage,
control civil service.
Powers emerged through convention
Powers based upon the PMs role as leader of the majority
party in the Commons, offered job of PM by Monarch as
has most seats.…read more

Slide 4

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Prime Ministers Roles and Powers
Chief Executive
Chief Legislator
Chief Diplomat
Public Relations Chief
Party Chief
Powers of the PM
Powers of Patronage ­ appoint and dismiss ministers at cabinet level or below, civil
servants, special advisers, Bishops, create peers, nominate individuals for honours list.
Powers over Cabinet, Govt and Civil Service ­ hire and fire, controls timing and duration of
cabinet meetings, cabinet agendas and minutes, conduct meetings and who speaks,
structure and composition of cabinet committees, make up and organisation of Govt,
appointments to and operation of the higher levels of civil service.
Power over Parliament ­ controls parliamentary timetable and imposes Govt agenda, Used
to be able to dissolve Parliament
Power over agenda ­ responsible for Queens Speech, controls agenda and policy
Powers on the world stage ­ make war and conclude treaties, enhanced by rise of mass
media.…read more

Slide 5

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Restraints on Power of PM
Limited by Cabinet ­ disagreements, Thatcher's reputation as a
Cabinet Dictator, excluding key figures from Cabinet can become
dangerous enemies on Back Benches such as Heseltine under
Thatcher, Blair and Iraq resignations of Robert Cook.
Limited by Parliament ­ can cause embarrassment, PMQs,
debates, Votes of No Confidence, Callaghan in 79.
Limited by Party ­ Failing Backbench support in Thatcher led to
Heseltines leadership challenge in 90 leading to her resignation,
Blair provoked massive back bench rebellions by pursuing policy
like top up fees.
Limited by public opinion and media scrutiny ­ unpopular
PMs likely to face party leadership challenges, disappointing poll
ratings and bad results in local elections can damage the PMs long
term prospects, 24 hour media and social media like Twitter allows
constant scrutiny of PM.
Limited by own abilities and circumstance ­ Size of Majority,
economic conditions, war, 911, Macmillan said "Events, dear boy,
Event".…read more

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Cabinet is the board of control chosen by the legislature, out of
persons whom it trusts and knows to rule the nation, a hyphen
which joins and a buckle that fastens. ­ Bageshot
23 Paid members and is controlled by the PM through powers of
Cabinet Committees ­ Chaired by PM or other senior cabinet
colleagues, determined by Premier, foreign, defence, domestic,
economic, cabinet rubber stamps decisions made at the committee,
Collective Responsibility extends to decisions made in committee as
well as those agreed by cabinet.
Cabinet Office ­ Strengthened by Labour 2001, 2000 staff, CO
Minister, Cabinet Secretary, four secretariats, physically centralised
to new offices in Downing Street, intertwined with PMs office,
establishing a virtual PMs Dept, poses a major threat to cabinet
Govt. Roles are to support PM as leader of Govt, support Cabinet in
transaction of business, lead and support the reform and delivery
programme, coordinate security and intelligence.…read more

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