Explain two powers of the Prime Minister

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Explain two powers of the Prime Minister [10]

As the head of the executive, the Prime Minister David Cameron has several powers. Most of these are Royal Prerogative, powers formally held by royalty but in reality are exercised by the PM.

One of these powers is the power of patronage. The Prime Minister ultimately decides who gets what at all levels of government. He appoints all ministers and subsequently promotes, demotes and dismisses. The PM can choose members of the Cabinet and other, more junior, ministers; party whips and other party functionaries; senior civil servants and a range of other state officials. He also appoints chief members of the Committees through the use of a chief whip who can decide on suitable members and reward loyalty.

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The Prime Minister also has massive powers of patronage over the Church of England (bishops etc), senior judges (Lord Chief Justice), Privy Councillors and even the Chairperson of the BBC. However this power has been gradually reduced— until very recently the PM appointed the Lord Chancellor and the top judges in the country— This has now been taken over by an Independent appointments body. Also, appointments such as Bishops and Chairperson of the BBC are often predetermined by other people in positions. The PM is often simply a rubber stamp.

Other aspects of patronage include giving knighthoods and peerages. ...

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