chapter 6 the prime minister and executive

  • Created by: loupardoe
  • Created on: 08-05-18 16:11

the executive

  • executive- branch of government concerned with the formulation and implementation of policy
  • heart of government- provides the high politics of national leadership and the mundane day to day administration of government
  • prime minister, cabinet, ministers, government departments
  • political executive and administrative executive

what is the role of the executive?

  • making policy decisions- set political priorities; determine the country's overall policy direction; make day to day decisions on policy; administrative executive is responsible for policy implementation, oversees the day to day administration of the state
  • proposing legislation- devises and initiates legislation; primary legislation is proposed by the executive; government bills put into effect the policies proposed in the manifesto of the governing party; has law making powers on secondary legislation
  • proposing a budget- makes key decisions on economic policy; proposes a budget; chancellor sets out proposed levels of taxation and public spending following negotiations in cabinet and with government departments

what are the powers of the executive?

prerogative powers

  • powers exercised by ministers that do not require parliamentary approval
  • collectively known as the royal prerogative
  • date from the time when the monarch had direct involvement in government
  • monarch still has some personal prerogative powers- appointment of the PM, giving royal assent to legislation, seeks to avoid controversy, acts under the direction of ministers
  • most prerogative powers are exercised by ministers acting on behalf of the crown
  • making and ratifiying treaties; international diplomacy; deployment of the armed forces overseas; PM patronage powers and ability to recommend the dissolution of parliament; organisation of the civil service; granting of pardons
  • some have been clarified and limited in recent years
  • has become a constitutional convention that parliament votes on the deployment of the armed forces overseas
  • fixed term parliaments act 2011- early election can only be called if 2/3 MPs approve in a vote in the HoC
  • PM's powers to award honors and make public appointments have been restricted

control of the legislature agenda

  • most bills are proposed by the government
  • controls the legislative timetable
  • most government bills are approved by parliament and become law
  • private members' bills that do not enjoy government support are unlikely to succeed
  • imposition of party discipline on important votes
  • requirement that all minister must support the government in parliament

powers of secondary legislation

  • form of legislation which allows the provisions of an Act of Parliament to be brought into force or amended by ministers without requiring a further Act
  • confer on ministers the power to make more detailed rules and regulations through statutory instruments
  • vary from being largely technical to providing greater detail on broad provisions of an Act
  • scrutinised by parliamentary committees
  • not debtated
  • unusual to be rejected

the prime minister and cabinet

the prime minister

  • head of the UK govermnment
  • provides political leadership within the cabinet system and the country
  • chairs the cabinet 
  • appoints ministers
  • leader of the largest party in the HoC

what is the role of the prime minister?

  • the precise role of the PM is not set out in statute law
  • political…


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