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Royal prerogative of the UK Prime Minister

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Introduction

AS Government & Politics - Questions on the UK Parliament Explain THREE examples of how the royal prerogative affects the Prime Minister. You must use brief examples to support your explanations. (10 marks) Royal prerogatives are traditionally powers held by the queen, however as the authority of the monarch is incompatible with that of UK's liberal democracy, much of these powers are carried out by the elected Prime Minister himself. As said, "the Queen reigns but does not rule". This has made the PM more powerful and is part of the centralization of executive power. ...read more.

Middle

For example, Brown did not choose to call the election in January when he was facing plots to bring him down within the party; instead he choose to do so in late March when his leadership position was relatively firm and Labour's popularity was higher. Arguably, this had lead to what can be said to be a good General Election result for Labour managing to prevent Cameron from gaining an overall majority. Secondly, the PM has the power to appoint and dismiss ministers. The affect of such a royal prerogative is that it allows the PM to bypass the democratic process of elections and instead, appointing his own, preferred staff into the Whitehall office. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Prime Minister can also hand out peerages meaning he can appoint Lords. This affects the PM as it gives him controversial powers which are often used to rise party funding. The would-be PM David Cameron will hand Lord Ashcroft a peerage for the million of pounds he donated to the 2010 Conservative Election Campaign. Thirdly, the PM has the power to declare a state of emergency and suspend normal government. This gives the PM a significant amount of power as it allows him to suspend democracy in times of the existence of serious threats. The last time a state of emergency was invoked was in 1974 by PM Edward Heath due to the industrial actions. Many would argue this is a hazard to democracy however usage is extremely rare. ...read more.

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