British Government

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The British Government[1] is the central government of the UK.[2] Its formal name is Her Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Government is led by the Prime Minister, who selects all the remaining Ministers. The Prime Minister and the other most senior Ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the Cabinet.[2] The Government Ministers are all members of Parliament, and are accountable to it. Laws are made by votes in Parliament. the laws make what is called primary legislation. A government must seek re-election at least every five years.[3] The monarch selects the Prime Minister as the leader of the party most likely to command a majority in Parliament.[4]

Under the 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.[5] The Cabinet members advise the monarch as members of the Privy Council. They also exercise power directly as leaders of the Government Departments.

The British form of government is sometimes called parliamentary government, and its parliament the "Mother of all Parliaments".[6]

There are devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, each responsible to a local parliament. These parliaments operate within limits set by the parliament in Westminster. There is no separate English Parliament.

The current Prime Minister is David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, who was appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on 11 May 2010 following the UK General Election on 6 May 2010. The election failed to provide a decisive result, with the Conservatives as the biggest party within a hung parliament. A coalition government was formed on the 12th of May 2010 between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Her Majesty's Government Parliament of the United Kingdom, 28 June 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 Overview of the UK system of government : Directgov – Government, citizens and rights. Direct.gov.uk. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  3. General elections – UK Parliament. Parliament.uk (2010-05-06). Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  4. House of Commons – Justice Committee – Written Evidence. Publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  5. The monarchy : Directgov – Government, citizens and rights. Direct.gov.uk. Retrieved on 2010-10-19.
  6. Jones, Clyve 2012. A short history of Parliament: England, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Scotland, p. 1; excerpt, "It is a commonly held misconception that the Westminster parliament is the 'mother of all parliaments' ... but the original phrase in 1865 was 'England is the mother or all parliaments'".