Power Of The Prime Minister

953 Words4 Pages
The power of the Prime Minister largely comes from the royal prerogative, where what the monarch said was law. The prime minster is said to be first among equals, which means to describe the Prime Ministers position is largely greater to other ministers of state. However over the last hundred years, this has been less accurate description of the role and influence of the Prime Minister. First among equals implies an equal status among the minsters and that he is simply the ‘first’ and represents the ministers and therefore the government and the country. However, the Prime Minister in reality is far more powerful than what he looks to be. The Prime Minister can hire anyone that is a UK citizen to become part of the cabinet through appointing someone as a peer in the House of Lords. Although he picks solely from the House of Lords and Commons, he can appoint anyone who is a peer to then join the cabinet. There is one case, where a former MP, Peter Mandleson, recently joined the cabinet as Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for a third time in 2008 despite not being an MP or a peer. This power certainly erodes the idea of ‘first among equals’. However, it must be noted that cabinet could have taken this decision as a whole, though it is unlikely. Further the Prime Minister decides the policy of the cabinet and thus the government, the party and the country. Such power, is argues, is too much for one person to comprehend and bear. The Prime Minister as the leader of his political party is subject to the parties support and his ability to whip his majority in the House of Commons to pass his policies and legislation into law. However, the Prime Minister’s reliance on the strong party whip system can sometimes be more of a weakness than strength. If his largely loyal party and Members of Parliament vote with his 95% of the time, then
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