Theresa Mary May is a British politician serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2016. She served as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016. May was first elected Member of Parliament for Maidenhead in 1997. Ideologically, she identifies herself as a one-nation conservative. May attended St Hugh's College, Oxford. After graduating in 1977, she worked for the Bank of England, she served as a councillor for Durnsford in Merton. After unsuccessful attempts to be elected to the House of Commons she was elected as the MP for Maidenhead in the 1997 general election. From 1999 to 2010, May held a number of roles in Shadow Cabinets, she was Chairwoman of the Conservative Party from 2002 to 2003. When the coalition government was formed after the 2010 general election, May was appointed Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, but gave up the latter role in 2012, she continued to serve as home secretary after the Conservative victory in the 2015 general election, became the longest-serving home secretary in over 60 years.
During her tenure she pursued reform of the Police Federation, implemented a harder line on drugs policy including the banning of khat, oversaw the introduction of elected Police and Crime Commissioners, the deportation of Abu Qatada, the creation of the National Crime Agency, brought in additional restrictions on immigration. She is to the only woman to hold two of the great offices of state. In July 2016, after David Cameron resigned, May was elected as Conservative Party Leader, becoming Britain's second female Prime Minister after Margaret Thatcher; as Prime Minister, May began the process of withdrawing the UK from the European Union, triggering Article 50 in March 2017. The following month, she announced a snap general election, with the aim of strengthening her hand in Brexit negotiations; this resulted in a hung parliament, in which the number of Conservative seats fell from 330 to 317, despite the party winning its highest vote share since 1983. The loss of an overall majority prompted her to enter a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party to support a minority government.
May survived a vote of no confidence from her own MPs in December 2018 and a Parliamentary vote of no confidence in January 2019. May has said that she will not lead her party in the next general election scheduled for 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, but has not ruled out leading it into a snap election. May carried out the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, adhering to the Chequers Agreement, which resulted in the draft Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU; this agreement was defeated by Parliament in January 2019, negotiations continue to try and reach a deal. May’s revised deal was defeated in Parliament by 391 votes to 242. In March 2019, May committed to stepping down as Prime Minister if Parliament passed her Brexit deal, to make way for a new leader in the second phase of Brexit. Born on 1 October 1956 in Eastbourne, May is the only child of Zaidee Mary and Hubert Brasier, her father was a Church of England clergyman, chaplain of an Eastbourne hospital. He became vicar of Enstone with Heythrop and of St Mary's at Wheatley, to the east of Oxford.
May's mother was a supporter of the Conservative Party. She attended Heythrop Primary School, a state school in Heythrop, followed by St. Juliana's Convent School for Girls, a Roman Catholic independent school in Begbroke, which closed in 1984; when she was 13, May won a place at the former Holton Park Girls' Grammar School, a state school in Wheatley. During her time as a pupil, the Oxfordshire education system was reorganised and the school became the new Wheatley Park Comprehensive School. May attended the University of Oxford where she read geography at St Hugh's College, graduating with a second class BA degree in 1977. Between 1977 and 1983 May worked at the Bank of England, from 1985 to 1997 as a financial consultant and senior advisor in International Affairs at the Association for Payment Clearing Services, she married Philip May in September 1980. Her father died in her mother of multiple sclerosis the following year. May stated she was "sorry they never saw me elected as a Member of Parliament".
May served as a councillor for Durnsford ward on the London Borough of Merton from 1986 to 1994, where she was Chairman of Education and Deputy Group Leader and Housing Spokesman. In the 1992 general election May stood unsuccessfully for the safe Labour seat of North West Durham, coming second to incumbent MP Hilary Armstrong by 12,747 votes to 26,734, with future Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron coming third. May stood at the 1994 Barking by-election, prompted by the death of Labour MP Jo Richardson; the seat had been continuously held by Labour since it was created in 1945 and Labour candidate Margaret Hodge was expected to win which she did, with 13,704 votes. May came a distant third with 1,976 votes. Ahead of the 1997 general election, May was selected as the Conservative candidate for Maidenhead, a new seat, created from parts of the seats of Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham, she was elected with 25,344 votes double the total of second-placed Andrew Terence Ketteringham of the Liberal Democrats, who took 13,363 votes.
Having entered Parliament, May became a member of William Hague's front-bench Opposition team, as Shadow Spokesman for Schools, Disabled People and Women. She became the first of the 1997 MPs to enter the Shadow Cabinet when in 1999 she
European Communities Act 1972 (UK)
The European Communities Act 1972 known as the ECA 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which made legal provision for the accession of the United Kingdom to the three European Communities, namely the EEC, the Coal and Steel Community. The Treaty of Accession was signed by the Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath and the President of the European Commission Franco Maria Malfatti in Brussels on 22 January 1972; the Act provided for the incorporation into UK law of the whole of European Community law and its "acquis communautaire": its Treaties and Directives, together with judgments of the European Court of Justice. By the Act, Community Law became binding on all legislation passed by the UK Parliament. Arguably the most significant statute to be passed by the Heath government of 1970-74, the Act is one of the most significant UK constitutional statutes passed; the act has been amended from its original form, incorporating the changes wrought by the Single European Act, the Maastricht Treaty, the Amsterdam Treaty, the Nice Treaty, the Treaty of Lisbon.
On 13 July 2017, the Brexit Secretary, David Davis, introduced what became the European Union Act to Parliament which makes provision for repealing the 1972 Act on "exit day", when enacted defined as 29 March 2019 at 11 p.m. but postponed by EU decision to either 22 May 2019 or 12 April 2019. When the European Communities came into being in 1958, the UK chose to remain aloof and instead join the alternative bloc, EFTA; the British government regretted its decision, in 1961, along with Denmark and Norway, the UK applied to join the three Communities. However, President Charles de Gaulle saw British membership as a Trojan horse for US influence, vetoed it; the four countries resubmitted their applications in 1967, the French veto was lifted upon Georges Pompidou succeeding de Gaulle in 1969. In 1970, accession negotiations took place between the UK Government, led by Conservative Prime Minister Edward Heath, the European Communities and various European leaders. Despite disagreements over the CAP and the UK's relationship with the Commonwealth, terms were agreed.
In October 1971, after a lengthy Commons debate, MPs voted 356-244 in favour of joining the EEC. For the Treaty to take effect upon entry into the Communities on 1 January 1973, for the UK to embrace the EEC Institutions and Community law, an Act of Parliament was required. Only three days after the signing of the Treaty, a European Communities Bill of just 12 clauses was presented to the House of Commons by Geoffrey Rippon; the European Communities Act came into being, Edward Heath signed the Treaty of Accession in Brussels on 22 January 1972. Denmark and Ireland joined the Community on the same day, 1 January 1973, as the UK; the European Communities Bill was introduced the House of Commons for its first reading by Geoffrey Rippon, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 26 January 1972. On 17 February 1972, the House of Commons voted narrowly by 309-301 in favour of the Bill at its second reading, after three days of intense debate. Just before the vote the Prime Minister Edward Heath argued his case in the debate with the following words.
The Bill passed on to Committee Stage before its third reading. During this discussion in the House of Commons, MPs pointed out that the Government had structured the European Communities Bill so that Parliament could debate the technical issues about how the treaty enactment would occur but could not debate the treaty of accession itself and decried this sacrifice of Parliament's sovereignty to the Government's desire to join the European project. On 13 July 1972, the House of Commons voted 301-284 in favour of the Bill in its third and final reading before passing on to the House of Lords. Before the vote took place, Geoffrey Rippon argued in the House of Commons before the vote: The Bill passed to the House of Lords; the Act received Royal Assent on 17 October, the UK's instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession was deposited the next day with the Italian government as required by the Treaty. Since the Treaty specified its effective date as 1 January 1973 and the Act specified only "entry date" for its actions, the Act and the Treaty took effect 1 January 1973, when the United Kingdom became a member state of the European Communities along with Denmark and the Republic of Ireland.
The European Communities Act was the instrument whereby the UK Parliament effected the changes required by the Treaty of Accession by which the UK joined the European Union. Section 2 says "the Treaties are without further enactment to be given legal effect" in the UK, it enables, under section 2, UK government ministers to make regulations to transpose EU Directives and rulings of the European Court of Justice into UK law. The Treaty itself says the member states will conform themselves to the European Communities existing and future decisions; the Act and the Treaty of Accession have been interpreted by UK courts
Erskine May: Parliamentary Practice
Erskine May is a parliamentary authority written by British constitutional theorist and Clerk of the House of Commons, Thomas Erskine May. Erskine May is considered to be the most authoritative and influential work on parliamentary procedure and the constitutional conventions affecting Parliament which form a major part of the uncodified UK constitution, it is not a rigid set of rules but a description of how the procedure evolved and of the conventions. Such is the authority of the text that it is regarded as analogous to part of the constitution itself. Since its first publication in 1844, the book has been updated. Erskine May edited nine editions of the book in his lifetime. Updates have continued into the present day; the Speaker's Commission on Digital Democracy recommended in 2015 that "Erskine May, the definitive guide to parliamentary procedure, should be available online by the time the next edition is produced."The work has been influential outside the United Kingdom in countries that use the Westminster system.
Book I: Constitution and Privileges of Parliament. Chapter I: Preliminary view of the constituent parts of Parliament: The Crown, The Lords Spiritual and Temporal, the Knights and Burgesses. Chapter II: Power and Jurisdiction of Parliament collectively. Rights and Power of each of its constituent parts. Chapter III: General view of the Privileges of Parliament: Power of commitment by both Houses for Breaches of Privilege. Causes of commitment cannot be inquired into by Courts of Law. Acts construed as Breaches of Privilege. Different punishments inflicted by the two Houses. Chapter IV: Privilege of Freedom of Speech confirmed by the ancient law of Parliament and by statute: its nature and limits. Chapter V: Freedom from Arrest or Molestation: its antiquity. Privilege of not being impleaded in civil actions: of not being liable to be summoned by subpoena or to serve on juries. Commitment of Members by Courts of Justice. Privilege of witnesses and others in attendance on Parliament. Chapter VI: Jurisdiction of Courts of Law in matters of Privilege.
Book II: Practice and Proceedings in Parliament. Chapter VII: Introductory remarks. Meeting of a new Parliament. Election and Royal Approbation of the Speaker of the Commons. Oaths. Queen's Speech, Addresses in answer. Places of Peers and Members of the House of Commons. Attendance on the service of Parliament. Office of Speaker in both Houses. Principal Officers. Journals. Admission of Strangers. Prorogation. Chapter VIII: Motions and Questions. Notices of Motions. Questions seconded. Motions withdrawn. Questions superseded by Adjournment. Previous Questions. New Questions substituted by Amendment. Complicated Questions. Questions put. Chapter IX: Amendments to Questions. Chapter X: The same Question or Bill may not be twice offered in a Session. Chapter XI: Rules of Debate: Manner and time of speaking: Rules and orders to be observed by Members in speaking, in attending to Debates. Chapter XII: Divisions. Mode of dividing in both Houses. Proxies and Pairs. Protests. Members interested. Chapter XIII: Committees of the whole House: General rules of proceeding: Chairman: Motions and Debate: House resumed.
Chapter XIV: Appointment, Constitution and Proceedings of Select Committees in both Houses. Chapter XV: Witnesses: Modes of Summons and Examination: Administration of Oaths: Expenses. Chapter XVI: Communications between the Lords and Commons: Messages and Conferences: Joint Committees, Committees communicating with each other. Chapter XVII: Communications from the Crown to Parliament: Their forms and character: How acknowledged: Addresses to the Crown: Messages to Members of the Royal Family. Chapter XVIII: Proceedings of Parliament in passing Public Bills. Royal Assent. Chapter XIX: Ancient mode of petitioning Parliament: Form and character of modern Petitions: Practice of both Houses in receiving them. Chapter XX: Accounts and Records presented to Parliament: Printing and distribution of them: Arrangement and statistical value of Parliamentary Returns. Chapter XXI: Progressive influence of the Commons in granting Supplies, imposing Burthens upon the People. Exclusion of the Lords from the right of amending Money Bills.
Constitutional functions of the Crown and of the Commons, in matters of Supply. Modern practice in voting Money and imposing Pecuniary Burthens. Committees of Supply and Ways and Means. Chapter XXII: Issue of Writs, Trial of Controverted Elections by the House of Commons. Chapter XXIII: Impeachment by the Commons. Trial of Peers. Bills of Attainder and of Pains and Penalties. Book III: The Manner of passing Private Bills. Chapter XXIV: Distinctive character of Private Bills: preliminary view of the proceedings of Parliament in passing them. Chapter XXV: Conditions to be observed by parties before Private Bills are introduced into Parliament: Notices and deposit of plans, &c.: Estimates and subscription contracts. Chapter XXVI: Course of proceedings upon Private Bills introduced into the House of Commons.
Philip Anthony Hammond is a British Conservative politician serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer since 2016 and the Member of Parliament for Runnymede and Weybridge since 1997. Hammond was born in Epping and studied Philosophy and Economics at University College, Oxford, he worked from 1984 as a company director at Castlemead Ltd -- a nursing company. From 1995-97 he acted as an adviser to the government of Malawi before his election to Parliament, he was promoted to the Shadow Cabinet by David Cameron in 2005 as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, remaining in this position until a 2007 reshuffle when he became Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. After the formation of the Coalition Government in May 2010, he was appointed Secretary of State for Transport and was sworn of the Privy Council. Upon the resignation of Liam Fox over a scandal in October 2011, Hammond was promoted to replace him as Secretary of State for Defence, before being further promoted in July 2014 to become Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
In July 2016, after Theresa May succeeded Cameron as Prime Minister, Hammond was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer. As Chancellor, Hammond has suggested that the government may begin a reduction in austerity measures. Hammond was born in Epping, the son of a civil engineer, he was educated at Shenfield School in Essex where he was a classmate of Richard Madeley. He read Philosophy and Economics at University College, where he was an Open Scholar, graduated with a first-class honours degree. Hammond joined the medical equipment manufacturers Speywood Laboratories Ltd in 1977, becoming a director of Speywood Medical Limited in 1981, he left in 1983 and, from 1984, served as a director in Castlemead Ltd. From 1993 to 1995, he was a partner in CMA Consultants and, from 1994, a director in Castlemead Homes, he had many business interests including house building and property, manufacturing and oil and gas. He undertook various consulting assignments in Latin America for the World Bank in Washington, D.
C. and was a consultant to the Government of Malawi from 1995 until his election to Parliament. Hammond was the Chairman of the Lewisham East Conservative Association for seven years from 1989 and contested the 1994 Newham North East by-election following the death of sitting Labour MP Ron Leighton, losing to Labour's Stephen Timms by 11,818 votes, he was elected to the House of Commons at the 1997 general election for the newly created Surrey seat of Runnymede and Weybridge. He has remained its MP since, he made his maiden speech on 17 June 1997. In Parliament he served on the Environment and the Regions Select Committee from 1997 until he was promoted by William Hague as front bench spokesman for Health, he was moved to become spokesman for Trade and Industry by Iain Duncan Smith in 2001, transferred to Shadow Minister for Local Government and Regions in 2002. Howard promoted Hammond to his Shadow Cabinet following the 2005 general election as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Following the election of David Cameron as Conservative leader in 2005, Hammond became the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
He was moved back to the role of Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury in David Cameron's reshuffle following Gordon Brown's accession to the premiership. Hammond was appointed Secretary of State for Transport following the formation of the coalition government on 12 May 2010, a position he held until 14 October 2011. On 28 September 2011, he announced that the government was to initiate a consultation on plans to raise the speed limit on motorways from 70 mph to 80 mph, with a view to introducing the new limit in 2013. However, following criticism, including that modelling predicted a 20+% increase in motorway deaths and would alienate women voters, the plans were dropped by his successor. Hammond became Secretary of State for Defence on 14 October 2011; as Secretary of State for Defence, Hammond became a member of the National Security Council. In December 2011, he announced; the first women officers began serving on Vanguard class submarines in late 2013. They were due to be followed by female ratings in 2015, when women should begin serving on the new Astute class submarine.
It was confirmed that the cost of the Libyan operations was £212 million – less than was estimated – including £67 million for replacing spent munitions, is all expected to be met from HM Treasury's reserve. In January 2012, the Ministry of Defence announced 4,200 job cuts in a second round of armed forces redundancies; the Army would see up to 2,900 job cuts, including 400 Gurkhas, while the RAF would lose up to 1,000 members and the Royal Navy up to 300. The job losses would account for some of the cuts announced under the defence review – intended to help plug the £38 billion hole in the defence budget. Hammond said the Government had "no choice but to reduce the size of the armed forces – while reconfiguring them to ensure they remain agile and effective"; the £38 billion "black hole" in MoD finances had been "dealt with" and the department's "hand to mouth existence would come to an end", Hammond stated in February 2012. Ministers had found £2.1 billion to be allocated to several major spending projects to be announced in the coming weeks.
The money was to come from a combination of cuts over the previous two years, bargaining with industry suppliers and a one per cent increase in the equipment budget. In February 2012, Hammond said that the Falkland Islands did not face a "current credible military threat" from Argentina, he ad
The Lord Speaker is the speaker of the House of Lords in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The office is analogous to the Speaker of the House of Commons: the Lord Speaker is elected by the members of the House of Lords and is expected to be politically impartial; until July 2006, the role of presiding officer in the House of Lords was undertaken by the Lord Chancellor. Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the position of the Speaker of the House of Lords became a separate office, allowing the position to be held by someone other than the Lord Chancellor; the Lord Chancellor continued to act as speaker of the House of Lords in an interim period after the Act was passed while the House of Lords considered new arrangements about its speakership. The current Lord Speaker is Lord Fowler. In 2003, following the decision to disaggregate the roles performed by the Lord Chancellor, a Select Committee of the House of Lords looked into the proposed new office of its presiding officer, including the title for the elected speaker of the Lords.
Following their recommendations, the new speaker was named "Lord Speaker", the number of deputy speakers has fallen from 25 to twelve. "Lord Speaker" was chosen in part because it was in use in the Standing Orders and the Companion. The main functions of the Lord Speaker are to take the chair in debates held in the chamber of the House of Lords, to advise the House of Lords on procedural rules, to take formal responsibility for security in the areas of the Palace of Westminster occupied by the House of Lords and its members, to speak for the House of Lords on ceremonial occasions, to represent the House of Lords as its ambassador in the UK and overseas; the role has less power than the Speaker of the House of Commons. The House of Lords is self-governing, its presiding officer has traditionally taken a less active role in debates than the Speaker of the House of Commons. For example, unlike the Speaker, the Lord Speaker does not call the House to order, determine, to speak when two individuals rise at the same time, rule on points of order, discipline members who violate the rules of the House, or select amendments to bills—all these functions are performed by the House of Lords as a whole.
Furthermore, whilst speeches in the House of Commons are addressed directly to the Speaker, those in the House of Lords are addressed to the House as a whole. In practice, the only task of the Lord Speaker in the Chamber is to formally put the question before a vote, to announce the result of any vote, to make certain announcements to the House. Furthermore, the Lord Speaker may end the adjournment of the House during a public emergency; the Lord Speaker has assumed most of the duties that the Lord Chancellor used to have in relation to his parliamentary role. When peers debated the creation of the office, there was debate as to whether the new speaker should have additional powers and responsibilities that the Lord Chancellor does not have resolved in the negative; the debate was renewed with proposals put forward by a Leader's Group led by Alastair Goodlad. The proposals include allowing the Lord Speaker, during Question Time and ministerial statements, to take on the role of advising the House which party should speak next when there is a dispute.
The Leader of the House of Lords, a Government minister handles this task. The decision of who should speak would remain with the House. A similar proposal was made by the committee that discussed the new office. A further option would allow the Speaker more power during Question Time, but it was not recommended by the Leader's Group; the Group's report has yet to be approved. Like the Speaker of the House of Commons, but unlike the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Speaker is expected to remain non-partisan whilst in office. On election, the Lord Speaker resigns the party whip or crossbench group and certain outside interests to concentrate on being an impartial presiding officer; the Lord Speaker is elected for a maximum term of five years, may serve a maximum of two terms. The election is conducted using the Alternative Vote method. Under amendments made on 3 May 2011, elections must be held by 15 July of final year of a term, with the new term beginning on 1 September; when Helene Hayman, Baroness Hayman was elected the first Lord Speaker, the Clerk of the Parliaments announced the result, the Lord Chamberlain announced the Queen's confirmation of the choice.
Lord Speaker thus elected replaced the Lord Chancellor on the Woolsack. By Royal Warrant on 4 July 2006, the Queen declared that the Lord Speaker would have rank and precedence after the Speaker of the House of Commons; the Lord Speaker earns a salary of £101,038, less than the Speaker of the House of Commons. The Lord Speaker, like the Speaker of the House of Commons, is entitled to a grace and favour apartment in the Parliamentary Estate. Like the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Speaker wears court dress with a plain black silk gown while presiding over the House and a black silk damask and gold lace ceremonial gown on state occasions. To date holders of the office have chosen not to wear a wig, as the Lord Chancellor did, though they do have the option; when presiding over debates, the Lord Speaker sits on the Woolsack. Before each day's sitting of the House of Lords, the Lord Speaker forms part of
Politics of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is a unitary state with devolution, governed within the framework of a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch Queen Elizabeth II, is the head of state while the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May, is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the British government, on behalf of and by the consent of the monarch, as well as by the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies; the judiciary is independent of the legislature. The highest court is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; the UK political system is a multi-party system. Since the 1920s, the two dominant parties have been the Labour Party. Before the Labour Party rose in British politics, the Liberal Party was the other major political party, along with the Conservatives.
While coalition and minority governments have been an occasional feature of parliamentary politics, the first-past-the-post electoral system used for general elections tends to maintain the dominance of these two parties, though each has in the past century relied upon a third party, such as the Liberal Democrats, to deliver a working majority in Parliament. A Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government held office from 2010 until 2015, the first coalition since 1945; the coalition ended following parliamentary elections on 7 May 2015, in which the Conservative Party won an outright majority of 330 seats in the House of Commons, while their coalition partners lost all but eight seats. With the partition of Ireland, Northern Ireland received home rule in 1920, though civil unrest meant direct rule was restored in 1972. Support for nationalist parties in Scotland and Wales led to proposals for devolution in the 1970s, though only in the 1990s did devolution happen. Today, Scotland and Northern Ireland each possess a legislature and executive, with devolution in Northern Ireland being conditional on participation in certain all-Ireland institutions.
The UK government remains responsible for non-devolved matters and, in the case of Northern Ireland, co-operates with the government of the Republic of Ireland. It is a matter of dispute as to whether increased autonomy and devolution of executive and legislative powers has contributed to the increase in support for independence; the principal Scottish pro-independence party, the Scottish National Party, became a minority government in 2007 and went on to win an overall majority of MSPs at the 2011 Scottish parliament elections and forms the Scottish Government administration. A 2014 referendum on independence led with 44.7 % voting for it. In Northern Ireland, a smaller percentage vote for Irish nationalist parties; the largest, Sinn Féin, not only advocates Irish reunification, but its members abstain from taking their elected seats in the Westminster parliament, as this would entail taking a pledge of allegiance to the British monarch. The constitution of the United Kingdom is uncodified, being made up of constitutional conventions and other elements such as EU law.
This system of government, known as the Westminster system, has been adopted by other countries those that were parts of the British Empire. The United Kingdom is responsible for several dependencies, which fall into two categories: the Crown dependencies, in the immediate vicinity of the UK, British Overseas Territories, which originated as colonies of the British Empire; the Economist Intelligence Unit rated the United Kingdom as a "full democracy" in 2017. The British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, is the chief of state of the United Kingdom. Though she takes little direct part in government, the Crown remains the fount in which ultimate executive power over government lies; these powers are known as royal prerogative and can be used for a vast amount of things, such as the issue or withdrawal of passports, to the dismissal of the Prime Minister or the declaration of war. The powers are delegated from the monarch in the name of the Crown, can be handed to various ministers, or other officers of the Crown, can purposely bypass the consent of Parliament.
The head of Her Majesty's Government, the prime minister has weekly meetings with the sovereign, where she may express her feelings, warn, or advise the prime minister in the government's work. According to the uncodified constitution of the United Kingdom, the monarch has the following powers:Domestic powers The power to dismiss and appoint a prime minister The power to dismiss and appoint other ministers The power to summon and prorogue Parliament The power to grant or refuse Royal Assent to bills The power to commission officers in the Armed Forces The power to command the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom The power to appoint members to the Queen's Counsel The power to issue and withdraw passports The power to grant prerogative of mercy The power to grant honours The power to create corporations via Royal CharterForeign powers The power to ratify and make treaties The power to declare war and peace The power to deploy the Armed Forces overseas The power to recognize states The power to credit and receive diplomats Executive power in the United Kingdom is exercised by the Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, via Her Majesty's Government and the devolved national authorities - the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Exec
Government of the United Kingdom
The Government of the United Kingdom, formally referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is commonly referred to as the UK Government or the British Government; the government is led by the Prime Minister. The prime minister and the other most senior ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the Cabinet; the government ministers all sit in Parliament, are accountable to it. The government is dependent on Parliament to make primary legislation, since the Fixed-terms Parliaments Act 2011, general elections are held every five years to elect a new House of Commons, unless there is a successful vote of no confidence in the government or a two-thirds vote for a snap election in the House of Commons, in which case an election may be held sooner. After an election, the monarch selects as prime minister the leader of the party most to command the confidence of the House of Commons by possessing a majority of MPs.
Under the uncodified British constitution, executive authority lies with the monarch, although this authority is exercised only by, or on the advice of, the prime minister and the cabinet. The Cabinet members advise the monarch as members of the Privy Council. In most cases they exercise power directly as leaders of the Government Departments, though some Cabinet positions are sinecures to a greater or lesser degree; the current prime minister is Theresa May, who took office on 13 July 2016. She is the leader of the Conservative Party, which won a majority of seats in the House of Commons in the general election on 7 May 2015, when David Cameron was the party leader. Prior to this and the Conservatives led a coalition from 2010 to 2015 with the Liberal Democrats, in which Cameron was prime minister; the Government is referred to with the metonym Westminster, due to that being where many of the offices of the government are situated by members in the Government of Scotland, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive in order to differentiate it from their own.
A key principle of the British Constitution is. This is called responsible government; the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy in which the reigning monarch does not make any open political decisions. All political decisions are taken by Parliament; this constitutional state of affairs is the result of a long history of constraining and reducing the political power of the monarch, beginning with Magna Carta in 1215. Parliament is split into the House of Commons; the House of Commons is the more powerful. The House of Lords is the upper house and although it can vote to amend proposed laws, the House of Commons can vote to overrule its amendments. Although the House of Lords can introduce bills, most important laws are introduced in the House of Commons – and most of those are introduced by the government, which schedules the vast majority of parliamentary time in the Commons. Parliamentary time is essential for bills to be passed into law, because they must pass through a number of readings before becoming law.
Prior to introducing a bill, the government may run a public consultation to solicit feedback from the public and businesses, may have introduced and discussed the policy in the Queen's Speech, or in an election manifesto or party platform. Ministers of the Crown are responsible to the House. For most senior ministers this is the elected House of Commons rather than the House of Lords. There have been some recent exceptions to this: for example, cabinet ministers Lord Mandelson and Lord Adonis sat in the Lords and were responsible to that House during the government of Gordon Brown. Since the start of Edward VII's reign in 1901, the prime minister has always been an elected member of Parliament and therefore directly accountable to the House of Commons. A similar convention applies to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, it would be politically unacceptable for the budget speech to be given in the Lords, with MPs unable to directly question the Chancellor now that the Lords have limited powers in relation to money bills.
The last Chancellor of the Exchequer to be a member of the House of Lords was Lord Denman, who served as interim Chancellor of the Exchequer for one month in 1834. Under the British system, the government is required by convention and for practical reasons to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons, it requires the support of the House of Commons for the maintenance of supply and to pass primary legislation. By convention, if a government loses the confidence of the House of Commons it must either resign or a General Election is held; the support of the Lords, while useful to the government in getting its legislation passed without delay, is not vital. A government is not required to resign if it loses the confidence of the Lords and is defeated in key votes in that House; the House of Commons is thus the Responsible house. The prime minister is held to account during Prime Minister's Questions which provides an opportunity for MPs from all parties to question the PM on any subject