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Her Majesty's Government




Her Majesty's Government is the body of ministers responsible for the administration of national affairs.

The Prime Minister is appointed by the Queen, and a If other ministers are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

The majority of ministers are members of the Commons, although the Government is also fully represented by ministers in the Lords. The Lord Chancellor is always a member of the House of Lords.

 

Composition

The composition of the Government can vary both in the number of ministers and in the titles of some offices. The creation of a paid ministerial office with entirely new functions, the abolition of an office, the transfer of functions from one minister to another, or a change in the designation of a minister may be effected by Order in Council.

 

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is also, by tradition, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. The head of the Government became known as the Prime Minister during the eighteenth century. The Prime Minister's unique position of authority derives from majority support in Parliament and from the power to choose ministers and to obtain their resignation or dismissal individually. By modern convention, the Prime Minister always sits in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister informs the Queen of the general business of the Government, presides over the Cabinet, and is responsible for the allocation of functions among ministers.

The Prime Minister's other responsibilities include recommending to the Queen a number of appointments. Recommendations are likewise made for the award of many civil honours and distinctions and of Civil List pensions (to people who have achieved eminence in science and the arts and are in some financial need). The Prime Minister also selects the trustees of certain national museums and institutions.

The Prime Minister's Office at 10 Downing Street (the official residence in central London) has a staff of civil servants who attend to the day-to-day discharge of the Prime Minister's numerous responsibilities. The Prime Minister may also appoint special advisers to the Office from time to time to assist in the, formation of policies.

Departmental Ministers

Ministers in charge of government departments, who are usually in the Cabinet, are known as 'Secretary of State' or 'Minister', or may have a special title, as in the case of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


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