The Prime Minister and The Executive

  • Created by: Q_
  • Created on: 31-03-19 19:07

Prime Minister Overview

The Prime Minister is the pre-eminent actor within the executive branch. They have significant institutional resources.

The Prime Minister appoints and dismisses ministers, chairs the cabinet and directs discussions within it, and is supported by the Prime Minister's Office and Cabinet Office. 

Leadership of the largest party in the House of Commons brings additional authority (unlike Theresa May who has a minority government - therefore has significantly less power than a PM who has a majority government). 

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Prime Minister Overview #2

The powers of the Prime Minister are tempered by constraints, including the need to placate senior colleagues and the party when appointing the cabinet. 

The Prime Minister has the potential to be predominant, but this depends upon the effective use of institutional resources, a favourable context and the Prime Minister's own leadership skills.

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Prime Minister Overview #3

The position of the Prime Minister has been strengthened in recent decades, with some scholars talking of presidentialisation. 

Leadership has become more personalised and prime ministers turn to their inner circle of ministers and advisers rather than to formal institutions of the cabinet system

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Prime Minister Overview #4

No Prime Minister can monopolise power - they can lead but not command, and direct rather than control policy. 

Other individuals (e.g. cabinet ministers) and institutions (government departments) also have resources. 

To achieve their goals, the Prime Minister needs the support of senior cabinet ministers. 

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