Is the British prime minister now effectively a president?

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Is the British prime minister now effectively a president?

One of the reason that prime minister has become more president the cabinet and key government departments have seen their role taken over by the prime minister and a small group of downing Street officials and advisers. Thus the machinery of the central government has become increasingly similar to the White House machinery. Sir Christopher Meyer, the former British Ambassador in Washington DC, has claimed that Jack Straw and the Foreign Office were sidelined as most communication was directly between Downing Street and the Washington embassy.

Although the Prime Minister is not officially the head of state, he or she increasingly assumes the stature of a presidential-style head of the state. This could be clearly seen in Blair’s premiership. In his leadership of the G8 and the EU in 2005, he assumed a distinctly presidential stature. His close relationship with Presidents Clinton and Bush has enabled him to strike an overtly presidential pose. Therefore it can be argued that there has been a long-term drift towards seeing the prime minister of the day, rather than the monarch, as national leader.

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Another factor that shows that the British Prime Minister is now effectively president is the concept of spatial leadership. This suggests that these leaders deliberately make themselves into outsiders within government. They separate themselves from its other members and so are able to act independently, but also to remain part of government itself. It has been noticed that as the role has become more dominant, there has been a tendency for the office holder to see him/herself as separate from government.  Thatcher and Reagan took this a step further. They even criticised governments of which they were the head, suggesting ...

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