The Power Of The Prime Minister

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The Power Of The Prime Minister The role of a Prime Minister has existed since the 1700's, however most historians find it hard to pin point or name the first ever Prime Minister. Sir Robert Walpole, while universally recognized as the first prime minister of Britain, did not actually hold the title. He was probably called first minister while the title of prime minister was not officially recognized until 1905. The extent of Prime Ministerial power depends on many factors. The formal powers of the Prime Minister are extensive. They range from the power to appoint, reshuffle and sack members of the Cabinet, appoint ambassadors and the heads of nationalised industries, advise on the appointment of judges and senior bishops in the Church of England, call an election and declare war. As the party leader the Prime Minister is also responsible for personifying the parties image. Below is a list illustrating some of the main responsibilities of a prime minister. The Prime Minister is · The leader of his party in the House of Commons · The head of government · She/he has the right to select his cabinet, hand out departmental positions, decide the agenda for cabinet meetings that they also chairs. · She/he can dismiss ministers if this is required · She/he directs and controls policy for the government · She/he is the chief spokesman for the government · She/he keeps the Queen informed of government decisions · She/he exercises wide powers of patronage and appointments in the civil service, church and judiciary · She/he can amalgamate or split government departments · She/he represents the countr... ... middle of paper ... ...ot what they wanted. This resulted in Thatcher loosing her title as party leader and Prime Minister and John major taking over government. This example provides strong evidence that although a Prime Minister holds the title and the "power", the cabinet can usurp them. Showing that the power the Prime Minister holds is not unlimited. To conclude, it could be argued that the Prime Minister holds the most powerful position within the country. However there are enough restraints to ensure that this power is not abused; e.g. opposition within the House of Commons and House of Lords, the Prime Ministers own backbenchers and cabinet, and the voting general public. In my opinion the Prime Minister holds a lot of power but they certainly can't do what they want with it, as safety nets within government have been instated.
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