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Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (informally abbreviated to PM), until 1801 known
as the Prime Minister of Great Britain, is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The
prime minister directs both the executive and the legislature, and, together with the Prime
Minister's Cabinet, (consisting of all the most senior ministers, most of whom are government
department heads), is accountable to the monarch, to Parliament, to the prime minister's political
party and, ultimately, to the electorate for the policies and actions of the executive and the
legislature.

The office is not established by any statute or constitutional document but exists only by long-
established convention, whereby the monarch appoints as prime minister the person most likely
to command the confidence of the House of Commons;[4] this individual is typically the leader of
the political party or coalition of parties that holds the largest number of seats in that chamber.
The position of prime minister was not created; it evolved slowly and erratically over three
hundred years due to numerous acts of Parliament, political developments, and accidents of
history. The office is therefore best understood from a historical perspective. The origins of the
position are found in constitutional changes that occurred during the Revolutionary Settlement
(1688–1720) and the resulting shift of political power from the Sovereign to Parliament.[5]
Although the sovereign was not stripped of the ancient prerogative powers and legally remained
the head of government, politically it gradually became necessary for him or her to govern
through a prime minister who could command a majority in Parliament.

Functions and responsibilities of the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister determines the general direction of Government’s activities and ensures
coordinated and purposeful work of the Cabinet of Ministers. The Prime Minister leads the work
of the Cabinet of Ministers and is responsible before the Saeima. The Prime Minister chairs
Cabinet sittings and meetings of the Committee of the Cabinet of Ministers. The Prime Minister
appoints:

o Parliamentary Secretaries of the ministries (according to recommendation by the


respective minister);
o ministers (after confidence vote by the Saeima);
o Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's Office and advisers to the Prime Minister.

If it is required for fulfilment of a specific task, the Prime Minister may issue an order to set up
temporary consultative councils or working groups (indicating their composition, issues to be
considered, activities and responsibilities), which within the scope of their competence present
opinion and proposals to the Prime Minister or the Cabinet of Ministers. In addition to direct
responsibilities the Prime Minister may permanently lead the work of one ministry.

The post of the Prime Minister can never be combined by other paid work in a state or municipal
service, except for the post of Saeima Deputy or in academic staff of educational establishments.
The Prime Minister may not be in any post or work in private companies or institutions funded
from the state budget or benefiting from the public sector. The Prime Minister is not allowed to
win a public procurement contract or gain concessions.
The Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau by the Prime Minister through the State
Chancellery.

In case of resignation the Prime Minister informs about the fact the President and
the Saeima Chairperson, who shall put the resignation announcement on the agenda of the
nearest Saeima plenary meeting. The Prime Minister, who has resigned from office either with or
without an expression of non-confidence from the Saeima, shall continue to fulfil his/her duties
of office, except for cases when the Saeima has decided otherwise and has appointed a person to
temporarily assume this office, until a successor is appointed.

Prime Minister has the right to request resignation of a minister (including Deputy Prime
Minister and state ministers). If the Prime Minister requests resignation of a minister or state
minister, the minister has to resign even if he/she has not received a non-confidence vote by
the Saeima.If one or several ministers resign, the Prime Minister himself/herself may temporarily
take over their responsibilities or assign them to other ministers. The Prime Minister shall invite
other persons to replace the resigned ministers, and inform the Cabinet, the President
and Saeima Chairperson about the changes. The invited persons shall take the office of a minister
only after receiving a confidence vote by the Saeima.If the Prime Minister loses the confidence
by the Saeima, he/she must resign together with other members of the Cabinet of Ministers.

The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for
supporting the Prime Minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom.[3] It is composed of various units that
support Cabinet committees and which co-ordinate the delivery of government objectives via other
departments. It currently has just over 2,000 staff, most of whom work in Whitehall. Staff working in the
Prime Minister's Office are part of the Cabinet Office.

The Cabinet Office's core functions are:[4]

 Supporting the Prime Minister to define and deliver the Government's objectives,
implement political and constitutional reform, and drive forward from the centre
particular cross-departmental priority issues such as public service improvement, social
exclusion and the third sector;
 Supporting the Cabinet – to drive the coherence, quality and delivery of policy and
operations across departments; and
 Strengthening the civil service – to ensure the civil service is organised effectively and
efficiently and has the capability in terms of skills, values and leadership to deliver the
Government's objectives, including ensuring value for money to the taxpayer. This also
includes working with the Treasury to drive efficiency and reform across the public
sector.

The Cabinet Office has responsibility for the following at a UK national level:

 political and constitutional reform


 the Home Civil Service
 the Boundary Commissions
 the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
 the Government Commercial Function [5] and the Government Commercial Organization.
Powers of the House of Lords
The powers of the Lords are limited by a combination of law and convention:

The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949


These define the powers of the Lords in relation to public bills:

Money bills: These are certified by the Speaker and deal with taxation or public
expenditure. Money bills start in the Commons and must receive Royal Assent
no more than a month after being introduced in the Lords even if the Lords have
not passed them.

Most other Commons bills: The Lords can hold up a bill they disagree with for
about a year but ultimately the elected House of Commons can reintroduce it in
the following session and pass it without the Lords' consent.

Bills which are not subject to the Parliament Acts are:

 Bills prolonging the length of a parliament beyond 5 years


 Private Bills
 Bills sent up to the Lords less than a month before the end of a session
 Bills which start in the Lords

Although rarely invoked, the Parliament Acts provide a framework and a means
of solving disagreement between the Commons and Lords.

Commons Privilege
The Commons have claimed a general privilege in relation to the raising and
spending of tax payers money since the 17th Century. Bills to raise taxes or
authorise expenditure always start in the Commons and cannot be amended by
the Lords.

The Salisbury Convention


The convention ensures that major Government Bills can get through the Lords
when the government of the day has no majority in the Lords. It means, in
practice, that the Lords do not try to vote down at Second or Third Reading a
government bill mentioned in an election manifesto. The 'Salisbury doctrine' as
it is sometimes called, emerged from the working arrangements reached during
the Labour Government of 1945-51, when the Marquess of Salisbury was
Leader of the Conservative Opposition in the Lords.
H O U S E of L O R D S

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