[19] However the power that a prime minister has over his or her cabinet colleagues is directly proportional to the amount of support that they have with their political parties and this is often related to whether the party considers them to be an electoral asset or liability. The number in addition to the Prime Minister is currently 21,[7] total cabinet composition fluctuating between 21 and 23. Only the Civil Service is considered outside of the ministry. This document lists government ministers and their responsibilities. Lord Bath and Lord Waldegrave are sometimes listed as prime ministers. Harold Wilson appointed Frank Cousins and Patrick Gordon Walker to the 1964 cabinet despite their not being MPs at the time. The Ministry of Justice does, however, have a spokesperson in the House of Lords. Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service and Minister for the … number-cabinet-junior-ministers-1979-2020.png, Number of cabinet and junior ministers (Updated: 25 Feb 2020), The Foreign Office and the Department for International Development, joint-ministers-across-government-feb-2020.png, Joint ministers across government following February 2020 reshuffle (Updated: 25 Feb 2020), Simon Case must spell out how he will be a cabinet secretary for the whole civil service, England’s patchwork quilt governance is not strong enough for a crisis like coronavirus. "[citation needed] This view has been contradicted by Vernon Bogdanor, a British constitutional expert, who claims that "the Cabinet has, in fact, been strengthened by the decline in full meetings, as it allows more matters to be transferred to cabinet committees. She said that double-hatting helped “in preventing the silo mentality”. As a minister Jo Swinson was responsible for equalities policy, an area shared between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Parliamentary private secretaries are unpaid and act as departmental assistants to ministers, being the eyes and ears of the minister in parliament and communicating with the backbenches. Certain other cabinet ministers are in a somewhat hybrid position, where they have a portfolio, but do not head a government department; the Lord President of the Council being such an example, where that office has accreted a collection of responsibilities over time, but which does not have a Lord President's Department attached to it. We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve government services. Ministers of all ranks are bound by collective responsibility – meaning that once the government has decided a collective position, all ministers must abide by it and vote together. Until the re-appointment to the cabinet of Peter Mandelson on 3 October 2008, the old Leader of the Lords, Valerie Amos, was the last peer to sit in any other Cabinet post, as Secretary of State for International Development from May to October 2003. In the modern political era, the Prime Minister releases information concerning Cabinet rank in the form of a list detailing the seniority of all Cabinet ministers. [citation needed], Since the end of the 20th century, more non-members of Her Majesty's Government were permitted by the Prime Minister to attend Cabinet meetings on a regular basis, notably Alastair Campbell in his capacity as Director of Communications and Strategy between 1997 and 2003, and Jonathan Powell, the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister, under Tony Blair, with a distinctly separate role from the Cabinet Secretary/Head of the Civil Service. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. The allocation and transfer of responsibilities between ministers and departments is also generally at the Prime Minister's discretion. Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details. The allocation and organisation of portfolios for secretaries of state is decided by the prime minister, and is published online. The Attorney General for England and Wales together with the chair of the governing political party, are customarily included, and other members of the Government can be invited at the Prime Minister's discretion, either regularly or ad hoc. The political and decision-making authority of the cabinet has been gradually reduced over the last several decades, with some claiming its role has been usurped by a "prime ministerial" government. The legal maximum number of paid ministers is 109, including the prime minister, as set out in the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975. [citation needed], There are some 100 junior members of the Government who are not members of the Cabinet, including Ministers of State and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State; and unpaid Parliamentary Private Secretaries are in practice apprentice ministers on the payroll vote. Other members include the Secretaries of State who each head the government departments. Damian Green, who worked as a junior minister in both the Home Office and Ministry of Justice during the coalition, said that “most of all you are trying to work to two bosses who may well have two different agendas, and indeed there is an inherent tension between the home secretary and the justice secretary whoever it is.”. [citation needed], The modern Cabinet system was set up by Prime Minister David Lloyd George during his premiership, 1916–1922, with a Cabinet Office and Secretariat, committee structures, unpublished minutes, and a clearer relationship with departmental Cabinet ministers. MPs and Members of the Lords sit in the two Chambers of Parliament scrutinising the Government and debating legislation. These may be "planted" questions for the advantage of the Government, or antagonistic questions from the Opposition, or may genuinely seek information. The Prime Minister normally has a weekly audience with the Queen thereafter. Ministers are chosen for a range of reasons – as a reward, to build allies, to signal a shift in policy or, sometimes, on assessment of objective performance.

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