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PM and Cabinet
What reforms have been proposed for the House of Commons?
The 2010 reforms:
Backbench Business Committee ­ controls debates in the main chamber [ACCOUNTABILTY]
Chairs of the departmental select committees are elected by backbench MPs ­ (takes power away
from party whips and leaders) [ACCOUNTABILITY]

The 2010…

Page 2

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Under coalition ­ they need to decide how many posts should go to each party

Types of coalition:
Majority Coalitions : Normally formed by just two parties such coalitions are formed to create an
overwhelming majority
Grand Coalitions: Coalitions between two major parties formed to create an overwhelming majority.
They…

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Functions of Cabinet:
Cabinet = a group of high-ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. The
Cabinet collectively decides the government's policy and tactical direction, especially in regard to
legislation passed by Parliament.
Formalises and legitimises official government policy
Special sessions to deal with crisis or emergency (e.g. 2007-2009…

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Has potential power to overrule the PM or even
remove him/her




How does the PM choose his/her Cabinet?
Individual considerations:
Close ally of PM (e.g: Osborne)
Reward for support in the past
Representation of a significant section of the party
Coalition = key figures from coalition partners' party
Potential rebel…

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When personal conduct is concerned ministerial system ­ LD = oppose C= key element against climate
resignations are more common (e.g. 2012 Chris Huhne ­ change)
charged with misleading the police of a driving offence) PM often asks whether ministers are prepared to defend
Parliament cannot remove ministers from office,…

Page 6

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majority of 21 but by election defeats and defections of his
MPs to other parties = loss)
The unity or otherwise of the ruling party or coalition is
also critical: A PM who has an ideologically united
leadership group can achieve a great deal more than one
who is constantly…

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Bilateral policy-making Policy success Keepers of the constitution



Do we have a core executive?
YES NO

Suggested initially Cameron gave a lot of Cameron taking back power (e.g: NHS
power out to departments and cabinet reforms)
ministers (e.g: education policy) Number 10 ­ more resources are being put
PM still…

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The cabinet office has shifted from serving the government as a whole to serving mainly the PM
alone. It has become far more concerned with the development of policy than ever before
This enables the PM to play a pivotal role and so appear to be dominating government
Elements of…

Page 9

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it has been a change of style rather than substance ­ PMs seem to be more presidential now but in
fact they are subject to the same constraints that have always existed
professor George Jones: `the elastic theory' ­ as a PM tries to stretch the powers of the office…

Comments

Old Sir

Report

A very useful overview of the workings of cabinet government in the UK. many students might wish to use this as a starting-point from which to develop discussions about prime ministerial style and the relationship between the various limitations on PM power, with case studies in order to address AO2, (evaluation and analysis).

zelia

Report

examples are fab, really helped me with evidence to back up my theoretical knowledge!

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