Government & Politics. The Prime Minister.

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Mustaq Miah

AS Politics

Assignment 4

Government & Politics

Assignment 4

  1. What Factors Influence The Prime Ministers Appointment of Ministers?

In 1994 Brazier wrote "The Cabinet largely selects its own members". The idea was that the PM really has very little control over who is chosen as a minister.  

Many factors have to be considered before the PM chooses his ministers and this will have to be a gruelling task as these people will help run the country under the Prime Minister.

In selecting the cabinet, the Prime Minister is engaged in two tasks:

  • Selecting the senior ministers such as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary who will effectively sit in the cabinet in high office because of the roles they play.
  • And constructing a team who will lead the government, the formation of which is crucial for any Prime Minister.

Any form of political experience is crucial. Prime ministers tend to appoint successful ministers from a previous regime. For example Jack Cunningham was given a Cabinet role in 1997 as he was the only leading labour figure with Government experience in the 1974-9 Government. With experience comes proficiency in Parliamentary debate in which Ministers need to be able to defend their policies and the Government in Parliament.

Leading party members with their own power bases have to be accommodated. Their inclusion in the cabinet in turn recognises the group of supporters and may secure their co-operation. In previous cases a perfect example would be the promotion of Michael Heseltine to Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State as a reward for his commitment to support John Major in the Conservative leadership election of July 1995. Not only did Heseltine support Major but made sure his followers also delivered their votes in favour of Major.

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In some cases, a Prime Minister can be tempted into choosing one or two ‘rebel Ministers’ for their Cabinet. These ‘rebels’ can be later made an example of by being publicly ridiculed and or sacked so the Prime Minister can show to the other backbencher rebels that he still has the power to do so if they go against him. In another case, John Major was more comfortable with right wing rebels inside his cabinet rather than outside of it.

Another factor that influences many Prime Ministers choice in choosing Cabinet Ministers is that they may feel happier ...

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