Charlie Matthews 12CAS 08/05/2007
The role of the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister has various roles in the British government system, which coincide to some extent with the administrative divisions of the No.10 Office:
The head of the Executive: The Prime Minister is in charge of overseeing the civil services and government agencies, and is ultimately answerable for all its decisions. This may seem like a fairly big task in its own right, however, he/she is aided in this particular duty by the Cabinet secretariat and the Private Office.
The head of government policy: Though most policy is produced through the departments and through the party’s own policy making apparatus, the Prime Minister has a key influence over the party’s election manifesto and the annual Queen’s speech outlining government legislation for the coming year, and more generally can choose which policies he/she wishes to highlight or play down. Prime ministers traditionally are particularly influential in economic and foreign policy decisions. In this task the Policy Unit and the Press Office aid him.
The party leader: The Prime Minister is not only in organisational charge of the party as well as the government, but also the figure who personifies that party to the public at large. In this task he/she is aided by the Political secretary (party outside parliament) and the Parliamentary private secretary.
The Head appointing officer: For posts throughout the political and administrative executive branch, as well as the various appointing powers in the church and academe exercised on behalf of the monarch. In this task, the Appointments secretary (crown appointments), Cabinet secretary (senior civil service) and the Principal private secretary (ministers) aid him.