House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
East Fife (UK Parliament constituency)
East Fife was a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1885 until 1983. Along with West Fife, it was formed by dividing the old Fife constituency, it elected one Member of Parliament using the first-past-the-post voting system, from 1886 to 1918 it was the seat of the Liberal Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith. In 1885, the constituency comprised the parishes of Abdie, Anstruther Wester, Anstruther Easter, Balmerino, Carnbee, Collessie, Creich, Cupar, Dunbog, Elie, Ferry-Port-on-Craig, Forgan, Kennoway, Kilconquhar, Kilrenny, Largo, Logie, Moonzie, Newburn, Pittenweem, St Andrews, St Leonards, St Monance and Strathmiglo. In 1918, on the dissolution of the St Andrews Burghs constituency, the burghs of St Andrews, Anstruther Easter, Anstruther Wester, Cupar and Pittenweem were added to the constituency, it consisted of "The Cupar and St. Andrews County Districts, inclusive of all burghs situated therein, together with the burgh of Leven and so much of the Kirkcaldy County District as is contained within the extra-burghal portion of the parish of Scoonie and the parish of Kennoway."
Asquith is appointed Secretary of State for the Home Department. General election of 1931In the 1931 general election, James Duncan Millar was elected unopposed. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "F" Election results, 1950 - 1970 F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1974 - 1983 F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918 - 1949 F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1885 - 1918 North East Fife Constituency
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop
City of London (UK Parliament constituency)
The City of London was a United Kingdom Parliamentary constituency. It was a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of England of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1950; this borough constituency consisted of the City of London, at the centre of Greater London. Bounded south by the Thames, the City adjoins Westminster westward, enfranchised in 1545. In other directions a web of tiny liberties and parishes of diverse size adjoined from medieval times until the 20th century. Most of the population of Middlesex was beyond the city's boundaries. From the 17th century three of four new'divisions' of Ossulstone Hundred adjoined the city reflecting their relative density — Holborn division and Finsbury division to the north and Tower division to the north-east and the east, all enfranchised in 1832. London is first known to have been enfranchised and represented in Parliament in 1298; because it was the most important city in England it received four seats in Parliament instead of the normal two for a constituency.
Previous to 1298 from the middle of that century, the intermittent first Parliaments, the area's households could turn to their Middlesex "two knights of the shire" – two members of the Commons – as to their interests in Parliament as the City formed part of the geographic county yet from early times wielded independent administration, its Corporation. The City was represented by four MPs until 1885, when this was cut to two, in 1950 the constituency was abolished; the City of London was a densely populated area. Before the Reform Act 1832 the composition of the City electorate was not as democratic as that of some other borough constituencies, such as neighbouring Westminster; the right of election was held by members of the Livery Companies. However the size and wealth of the community meant that it had more voters than most other borough constituencies. Namier and Brooke estimated the size of the City electorate, in the latter part of the 18th century, at about 7,000. Only Westminster had a larger size of electorate.
During the 19th and 20th centuries the metropolitan area of London expanded greatly. The resident population of the City fell. People moved to suburbs; however the City authorities did not want to extend their jurisdiction beyond the traditional "square mile" so the constituency was left unchanged as its resident population fell. By 1900 all electors in the City qualified through Livery Company membership and lived outside of the City; the business voters were a type of plural voter which when abolished by the Representation of the People Act 1948 meant the City became under-sized in electorate, akin to the least-worst examples of pre-1832 "rotten and pocket boroughs". In 1950 the area was merged for Parliamentary purposes with the eldest parts of the neighbouring City of Westminster, to form the seat Cities of London and Westminster; the pre-1900 heavily-subdivided city became simplified for the period 1907 and 1965 into one civil parish, before in that year this level of local government complication was taken away.
Statutory protection applied between 1986 and 2011 to prevent division of the City between seats:- There shall continue to be a constituency which shall include the whole of the City of London and the name of which shall refer to the City of London" See City of London for citizens known to have represented the City in Parliament before 1707 Note:- Expelled In multi-member elections the bloc voting system was used. Voters could cast a vote for one to four candidates; the leading candidates with the largest number of votes were elected. In 1868 the limited vote was introduced, which restricted an individual elector to using one, two or three votes, in elections to fill four seats. In by-elections, to fill a single seat, the first past the post system applied. After 1832, when registration of voters was introduced, a turnout figure is given for contested elections. In multi-member elections, when the exact number of participating voters is unknown, this is calculated by dividing the number of votes by four and two thereafter.
To the extent that electors did not use all their votes this will be an underestimate of turnout. Where a party had more than one candidate in one or both of a pair of successive elections change is calculated for each individual candidate, otherwise change is based on the party vote. Candidates for whom no party has been identified are classified as Non Partisan; the candidate might have been associated with a party or faction in Parliament or consider himself to belong to a particular political tradition. Political parties before the 19th century were not as cohesive or organised as they became. Contemporary commentators in the 18th century did not agree who the party supporters were; the traditional parties, which had arisen in the late 17th century, became irrelevant to politics in the 18th century, although for some contests in some constituencies party labels were still used. It was only towards the end of the century that party labels began to acquire some meaning again, although this process was by no means complete for several more generations.
Sources: The results are based on the History of Parliament Trust's volumes on the House of Commons in various periods from 1715–1820, Stooks Smith from 1820 until 1832 and Craig from 1832. Where Stooks Smith gives additional information this is indicated in a note. See references below for fur
John Edward Redmond was an Irish nationalist politician, MP in the British House of Commons. He was best known as leader of the moderate Irish Parliamentary Party from 1900 until his death in 1918, he was leader of the paramilitary organisation the Irish National Volunteers. He was born to an old prominent Catholic family in rural Ireland, he took over control of the minority IPP faction loyal to Charles Stewart Parnell when that leader died in 1891. Redmond was a conciliatory politician who achieved the two main objectives of his political life: party unity and, in September 1914, the passing of the Irish Home Rule Act; the Act granted limited self-government within the United Kingdom. However, implementation of Home Rule was suspended by the outbreak of the First World War. Redmond called on the National Volunteers to join Irish regiments of the New British Army and support the British and Allied war effort to restore the "freedom of small nations" on the European continent, thereby to ensure the implementation of Home Rule after a war, expected to be of short duration.
However, after the Easter Rising of 1916, Irish public opinion shifted in favour of militant republicanism and full Irish independence, so that his party lost its dominance in Irish politics. In sharp contrast to Parnell, Redmond lacked charisma, he had little success in arousing large audiences. Parnell always chose the nominees to Parliament. Now they were selected by the local party organisations, giving Redmond numerous weak MPs over whom he had little control. Redmond was an excellent representative of the old Ireland, but grew old-fashioned because he paid little attention to the new forces attracting younger Irishmen, such as Sinn Féin in politics, the Gaelic Athletic Association in sports, the Gaelic League in cultural affairs, he never tried to understand the unionist forces emerging in Ulster. Redmond was further weakened in 1914 by the formation by Sinn Féin members of the Irish Volunteers, his enthusiastic support for the British war effort alienated many Irish nationalists. His party had been hollowed out, a major crisis—notably the Easter Rising—was enough to destroy it.
John Edward Redmond was born at Ballytrent House, County Wexford, his grandfather's old family mansion. He was the eldest son of William Archer Redmond, MP by Mary, daughter of General Hoey, the brother of Francis Hoey, heir of the Hoey seat, Dunganstown Castle, County Wicklow. For over seven hundred years the Redmonds had been a prominent Catholic gentry family in County Wexford and Wexford town, they were one of the oldest Hiberno-Norman families, had for a long time been known as the Redmonds of'The Hall', now known as Loftus Hall. His more immediate family were a remarkable political dynasty themselves. Redmond's grand uncle, John Edward Redmond, was a prominent banker and businessman before entering Parliament as a member for Wexford constituency in 1859. After his death in 1866, his nephew, William Archer Redmond, this John Redmond's father, was elected to the seat and soon emerged as a prominent supporter of Isaac Butt's new policy for home rule. John Redmond was the brother of Willie Redmond, MP for Wexford and East Clare, the father of William Redmond, whose wife was Bridget Redmond.
Redmond's family heritage was more complex than that of most of his nationalist political colleagues. His mother came from a unionist family, his uncle General John Patrick Redmond, who had inherited the family estate, was created CB for his role during the Indian mutiny. John Redmond boasted of his family involvement in the 1798 Wexford Rebellion; as a student, young John exhibited the seriousness. Educated by the Jesuits at Clongowes Wood College, he was interested in poetry and literature, played the lead in school theatricals and was regarded as the best speaker in the school's debating society. After finishing at Clongowes, Redmond attended Trinity College, Dublin to study law, but his father's ill-health led him to abandon his studies before taking a degree. In 1876 he left to live with his father in London, acting as his assistant in Westminster, where he developed more fascination for politics than for law, he first came into contact with Michael Davitt on the occasion of a reception held in London to celebrate the release of the famous Fenian prisoner.
As a clerk in the House of Commons he identified himself with the fortunes of Charles Stewart Parnell, one of the founders of the Irish Land League and a noted'obstructionist' in the Commons. Redmond first attended political meetings with Parnell in 1879. Upon his father's death in 1880, he wrote to Parnell asking for adoption as the Nationalist Party candidate in the by-election to fill the open seat, but was disappointed to learn that Parnell had promised the next vacancy to his secretary Timothy Healy. Redmond supported Healy as the nominee, when another vacancy arose, this time in New Ross, he won election unopposed as the Parnellite candidate for the seat. On election, he rushed to the House of Commons, made his maiden speech next day amid stormy scenes following the arrest of Michael Davitt a Land League leader, a
1906 United Kingdom general election
The 1906 United Kingdom general election was held from 12 January to 8 February 1906. The Liberals, led by Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman, won a landslide majority at the election; the Conservatives led by Arthur Balfour, in government until the month before the election, lost more than half their seats, including party leader Balfour's own seat in Manchester East, leaving them with their lowest-ever number of seats. The election saw a 5.4% swing from the Conservative Party to the Liberal Party, the largest-ever seen at the time. This has resulted in the 1906 general election being dubbed the "Liberal landslide", is now ranked alongside the 1931, 1945, 1983 and 1997 general elections as one of the largest landslide election victories; the Labour Representation Committee was far more successful than at the 1900 general election and after the election would be renamed the Labour Party with 29 MPs and Keir Hardie as leader. The Irish Parliamentary Party, led by John Redmond, achieved its seats with a low number of votes, as 73 candidates stood unopposed.
This election was a landslide defeat for the Conservative Party and their Liberal Unionist allies, with the primary reason given by historians as the party's weakness after its split over the issue of free trade. Many working-class people at the time saw this as a threat to the price of food, hence the debate was nicknamed "Big Loaf, Little Loaf"; the Liberals' landslide victory of 125 seats over all other parties led to the passing of social legislation known as the Liberal reforms. This was the last general election in which the Liberals won an absolute majority in the House of Commons, the last general election in which they won the popular vote, it was the last peacetime election held more than five years after the previous one prior to passage of the Parliament Act 1911, which limited the duration of Parliaments in peacetime to five years. The Conservative Party's seat total of 156 MPs remains its worst result in a general election. A coalition between the Conservative and Liberal Unionist parties had governed the United Kingdom since the general election of 1895.
Arthur Balfour had served as Prime Minister from 1902 until 5 December 1905, when he chose to resign over growing unpopularity, instead of calling a general election. Balfour had hoped that under a Liberal government splits would reemerge, which would therefore help the Conservative Party achieve victory at the next election; the incoming Liberal government chose to capitalise on the Conservative government's unpopularity and called an immediate general election one month on 12 January 1906, which resulted in a crushing defeat for the Conservatives. The Unionist government had become divided over the issue of free trade, which soon became an electoral liability; this culminated in Joseph Chamberlain's resignation from the government in May 1903 to campaign for tariff reform in order to protect British industry from foreign competition. This division was in contrast to the Liberal Party's belief in free trade, which it argued would help keep costs of living down; the issue of free trade became the feature of the Liberal campaign, under the slogan'big loaf' under a Liberal government,'little loaf' under a Conservative government.
It commissioned a variety of posters warning the electorate over rises in food prices under protectionist policies, including one which mentioned that "Balfour and Chamberlain are linked together against free trade... Don't be deceived by Tory tricks"; the Boer War had contributed to the unpopularity of the Conservative and Unionist government. The war had lasted over two and half years, much longer than had been expected, while details were revealed of the existence of'concentration camps' where over 20,000 men and children were reported to have died because of poor sanitation; the war had unearthed the poor social state of the country in the early 1900s. This was after more than 40% of military recruits for the Boer War were declared unfit for military service, while in Manchester 8,000 of the 11,000 men, recruited had to be turned away for being in poor physical condition; this was after the 1902 Rowntree study of poverty in York showed that a third of the population lived below the'poverty line', which helped to increase the calls for social reforms, something, neglected by the Conservative and Unionist government.
The Conservative and Unionist Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour, had been blamed over the issue of'Chinese Slavery', the use of Chinese-indentured labour in South Africa. This became controversial among the Conservative Party's middle-class supporters, who saw it as unethical, while the working class objected to the practice, as white emigration to South Africa could have created jobs for the unemployed in Britain. Protestant Nonconformists were angered when Conservatives pushed through the Education Act 1902, which integrated denominational schools into the state system and provided for their support from taxes; the local school boards that they controlled were abolished and replaced by county governments that were controlled by Anglicans. Worst of all the hated Anglican schools would now receive funding from local taxes that everyone had to pay. One tactic was to refuse to pay local taxes; the education issue played a major role in the Liberal victory in 1906, as Dissenter Conservatives punished their old party and voted Liberal.
However the Liberals failed to repeal or modify the 1902 law. Another issue
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister directs both the executive and the legislature, together with their Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Monarch, to Parliament, to their political party and to the electorate; the office of Prime Minister is one of the Great Offices of State. The current holder of the office, Theresa May, leader of the Conservative Party, was appointed by the Queen on 13 July 2016; the office is not established by any statute or constitutional document but exists only by long-established convention, which stipulates that the monarch must appoint as Prime Minister the person most to command the confidence of the House of Commons. The position of Prime Minister was not created; 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 and the resulting shift of political power from the Sovereign to Parliament.
Although the Sovereign was not stripped of the ancient prerogative powers and remained the head of government, politically it became necessary for him or her to govern through a Prime Minister who could command a majority in Parliament. By the 1830s the Westminster system of government had emerged; the political position of Prime Minister was enhanced by the development of modern political parties, the introduction of mass communication, photography. By the start of the 20th century the modern premiership had emerged. Prior to 1902, the Prime Minister sometimes came from the House of Lords, provided that his government could form a majority in the Commons; however as the power of the aristocracy waned during the 19th century the convention developed that the Prime Minister should always sit in the lower house. As leader of the House of Commons, the Prime Minister's authority was further enhanced by the Parliament Act 1911 which marginalised the influence of the House of Lords in the law-making process.
The Prime Minister is ex officio First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. Certain privileges, such as residency of 10 Downing Street, are accorded to Prime Ministers by virtue of their position as First Lord of the Treasury; the status of the position as Prime Minister means that the incumbent is ranked as one of the most powerful and influential people in the world. The Prime Minister is the head of the United Kingdom government; as such, the modern Prime Minister leads the Cabinet. In addition, the Prime Minister leads a major political party and commands a majority in the House of Commons; the incumbent wields both significant legislative and executive powers. Under the British system, there is a unity of powers rather than separation. In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister guides the law-making process with the goal of enacting the legislative agenda of their political party. In an executive capacity, the Prime Minister appoints all other Cabinet members and ministers, co-ordinates the policies and activities of all government departments, the staff of the Civil Service.
The Prime Minister acts as the public "face" and "voice" of Her Majesty's Government, both at home and abroad. Upon the advice of the Prime Minister, the Sovereign exercises many statutory and prerogative powers, including high judicial, political and Church of England ecclesiastical appointments; the British system of government is based on an uncodified constitution, meaning that it is not set out in any single document. The British constitution consists of many documents and most for the evolution of the Office of the Prime Minister, it is based on customs known as constitutional conventions that became accepted practice. In 1928, Prime Minister H. H. Asquith described this characteristic of the British constitution in his memoirs:In this country we live... under an unwritten Constitution. It is true that we have on the Statute-book great instruments like Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the Bill of Rights which define and secure many of our rights and privileges, they rest on usage, convention of slow growth in their early stages, not always uniform, but which in the course of time received universal observance and respect.
The relationships between the Prime Minister and the Sovereign and Cabinet are defined by these unwritten conventions of the constitution. Many of the Prime Minister's executive and legislative powers are royal prerogatives which are still formally vested in the Sovereign, who remains the head of state. Despite its growing