The Prime Minister

FCE level: B1.1/B1.2

Topic: British Institutions 

 

The monarch appoints as Prime Minister the leader of the party with most Mps in the House of Commons. The Prime Minister then choose other leading MPs from her party to become ministers in the government. Among the most important ministers are the Chancellor of the Exchequer (responsible for financial matters), the home Secretary ( responsible for internal security, police, secret service) and the Foreign Secretary (responsible for foreign policy). The party with the second largest number of MPs  is recognized as the official opposition. The government remains in power as long as it  has support of a majority in Commons. After 5 years must be a new general election but the Prime Minister has the power to dissolve the Parliament and call a new election at any time during those 5 years.

If no single party has a majority a coalition of parties may form the government. This rarely happens in Britain because the voting system favours two-party politics. There is no proportional representation and so it is very difficult for small party to be represented in parliament. In fact the House of Commons is physically designed to accomodate two parties, one sitting opposite  the other.


Theresa May's "Her majesty government"

Prime Minister: Theresa May

Home secretary: Boris Johnson 

Chancellor of the Exchequer: Philippe Hammond