Are British Prime Ministers as Powerful as Is Sometimes Claimed, [40] Essay

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Pages: 5

Are British Prime ministers as powerful as is sometimes claimed?

It is often argued that in this day and age, Prime ministers are almost untouchable within the British political system, due to the shear number of powers that the Prime minister holds, and the prerogatives that he utilises. However, due to a handful of checks and balances on the government, and the Prime minister not being separated from the political system, which means he or she is liable to these checks and limitations, the Prime minister may therefore not be perceived as all that powerful.

As previously mentioned, the Prime minister enjoys a collection of powers within the UK political system. Firstly, the prime minister has this huge amount of power due to
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For example, Gordon Brown was a highly intellectual man, but clearly lacked the qualities of a domineering leader. Compared to Blair, he sounded like a much less calm and controlled person, as well as coming across as quite frantic and disorganised. As a result of this, he became an attacking point for the media, as they saw him as a viable target for the blame of the recession. Due to the fact that he himself was not elected as PM he decided that he would therefore be unable to control the cabinet he had taken control of. Because of this, he made the biggest cabinet reshuffle in the history of the UK political system. Leaving only one cabinet member in the same position as when Blair was PM.

John Major can also be used as another example of this, as he also had little cabinet control. This was down to the fact that within his cabinet, he still had a handful of thatcherites, which meant they would fundamentally disagree with lots of his propositions in cabinet. This lead to a number of high profile recognitions, for example, Michael Portillo, Michael Howard and Peter Lilley, all over the topic of Europe.

Another example of how British prime ministers are as powerful as is claimed is as a result of the presidential styles of each PM. For example, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair