UK Politics

UK politics refers to the framework of the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, in which the Prime Minister is the head of the government and the Monarch is the head of the state.

1,245 Questions
Jobs & Education
UK Politics

Why doesn't England have a president?

Because it has always been a monarchy, apart from a brief period after the English Civil War when Oliver Cromwell and (subseqently) his son Thomas headed a Republic from 1649-60.

Britain has always been ruled by kings or queens, dating right back to pre-Roman times when various parts of it were divided up into seperate small kingdoms, who were often at war with each other. England became a united country under one monarch under the rule of the Saxon king Alfred the Great, and has remained as such ever since, although the Royal Houses who have ruled over it have changed over the Centuries (the Normans swept the Saxons from power following their invasion of England in 1066, and established the Plantagenet dynasty, which was in turn replaced by the Tudor dynasty in the late 15th century, and so on). Wales was a seperate kingdom up until 1285, and was never really regarded as ruled by England until the collapse of the Welsh Rebellion under Owen Glyndwr in 1410. Scotland remained a seperate kingdom up until 1745, when it was absorbed into the UK following the Battle of Bannockburn.

Up until the outbreak of the English Civil War, the monarch was what is known as an 'absolute monarch'- that is, they had the final word in Government and influenced their ministers and civil servants as to what they should do, and how they should run the country. By the mid-17th Century this was becoming resented by the British people, who felt that the monarch should be accountable to an elected Parliament and not the other way round. But the reigning monarch of the time, Charles 1st, believed in what had always been known as 'the Divine Right of Kings'- that is, he seriously believed (like many of his predecessors) that he had been specially appointed by God to lead the nation and protect it's best interests. Thus the Civil War began, with the Parliamentary forces being led by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell did not want to execute the king, merely have him relinquish his absolute authority and agree to his power being handed over to an elected Parliament, with the King remaining as Head of State- he tried very hard to persuade Charles 1st to agree to this, but the king would not hear of it, and even after being arrested several times and held in custody, always broke out again to lead his Royalist forces against the Parliamentarians. Cromwell, exasperated, finally had Charles 1st executed in 1649, and ruled England as a Republic until his death in 1658 under the title of 'Lord Protector'. His son Thomas succeeded him for another two years, but when he died in 1660 Charles 1st's son (also named Charles), who had been in exile in France, returned to the throne. This period in British history is known as 'The Restoration'.

But things were never to be quite the same again after the Civil War- although Charles 2nd retained a lot of power, Cromwell had succeeded in establishing a Parliament that was elected and kept some of the monarch's power in check. Over the following Centuries, the power of Parliament increased, with the monarch holding less and less actual governmental power and with more and more people being permitted to vote (initially, the vote was restricted under Cromwell to male landowners over a certain age). The last English monarch to wield any significant ruling authority was Queen Victoria.

Nowadays, the power of the sovereign is minimal- the present Queen, Elizabeth 2nd, has to approve the appointment of a new Prime Minister and officially open new sessions of Parliament, but in practice she couldn't actually refuse to do so- her role is really ceremonial. Nonetheless, most British people WANT the country to retain a monarch as Head of State, and although there have periodically been rumblings of dissent over the past 100 years, with a minority of people wanting to abolish the monarchy and replace it with an elected President, the majority want the monarchy to stay.

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United Kingdom
Political Office Holders
UK Politics

How are leaders selected in Great Britain?

The people select Members of Parliament by voting at a General Election.The Prime Minister is always the Leader of the political party with a majority in Parliament. The head of state is a monarch, so they get their position by birth right and are not selected.

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Criminal Law
UK Law and Legal Issues
UK Politics
Protests, Riots and Civil Unrest

What Meadowell Estate riots done against crime?

The riots in Meadowell started because two lads, from the estate were being chased in a stolen car on the coast road heading towards Meadowell, the police rammed the stolen car into a lampost, the car burst into flames killing both of the occupants, and this DID happen.

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Politics and Government
UK Politics
Celebrity Births Deaths and Ages

How old is Ken Livingstone's wife?

Emma Beal, Ken Livingstone's current wife, is 42.

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England
UK Politics

Who is the president of England?

laves jonsen

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History of England
UK Politics

How can the House of Lords influence legislation?

The House of Lords debates legislation (introduced by either the Upper or Lower House) and has some power to amend (change) or reject the bills. However the power of the Upper House to reject a bill that has prior been passed by the House of Commons is restricted by the Parliament Acts.

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History of Ireland
Ireland
UK Politics

How many provinces are there in Ireland?

4 provinces

There are 32 counties in the whole island. 26 in the Republic of Ireland and 6 in Northern Ireland.

There are only 4 provinces in Ireland: Ulster (shared between ROI and NI); Connaught, Leinster, and Munster (ROI).

There are currently four provinces on the island of Ireland: Ulster, Lenister, Munster and Connaught.

However, the term "province" is only an English approximation of the word "cuige" which, strictly specking, means "a fifth" but was also probably meant in older times as "a portion", i.e., a portion of the island.

As the term implies, there was five fifths or provinces in Ireland in former times: Ulaid (more or less what is now Ulster), Midhe (now reduced to a county in Lenister, but which one took up much of the midlands east of the Shannon), Lagain (now Lenister, including Midhe), Mumhan (Munster) and Connacht (which, however, formerly counted Clare as a part of it; it now lies in Munster).

Yet this was never an entirely fixed fact, as other areas, such as Ossary and Airgialla were from time to time counted as fifths.

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Scotland
Politics and Government
UK Politics

What form of government does Scotland have?

Scotland currently has its own devolved government at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh. The Scottish Parliament has 129 members elected in a system which is a mixture of proportional representation and first past the post. This government has some powers to legislate over health, education, law, transport etc. These are called devolved matters.

The Westminster government in London is the government for the whole of the UK and as such maintains the right to legislate over a number of other matters, such as defence, foreign policy and the economy. These are called reserved matters.

In 2014, the current Scottish Government will hold a referendum on full independence. If the Scottish people vote yes this would result in Scotland eventually having the same type of government as every other sovereign country in the world, as opposed to the current situation where the Westminster government can still dictate certain matters.

The government of the UK is the Houses of Parliament in London, this is split into two chambers the elected House of Commons and the unelected House of Lords with the Queen as head of State. The Scottish Government is a devolved executive based in Edinburgh which is currently formed by the Scottish National Party who hold a parliamentary majority. The First Minister of Scotland is the SNP leader, Alex Salmond.
The Scottish Government is formed from the Scottish Parliament, which is a devolved parliament with powers over such things as health, education, transport and law in Scotland.

?There are certain 'reserved' matters, such as defence and finance, which are under the control of the UK Government. ?
Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. Scotland has its own parliament (elected every 4 years) and government, but is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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History of England
United Kingdom
UK Politics

How many members are there in the House of Lords?

As of April 20, 2012, there are 818 voting members of the House of Lords, of which about 701 are life peers, 92 are hereditary peers who sit in the House due to being elected by their fellows and 25 are bishops . 21 of these are on leave of absence.

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UK Politics
Bermuda
UK History

Which country owns Bermuda?

Bermuda is still owned by UK, also the island is called Bermuda island

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United Kingdom
UK Politics

Who is the president of the United Kingdom?

There is no President of the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy and has no president. Queen Elizabeth II is Head of State. The prime minister is the head of government in the UK. The Prime Minister of the UK in September 2017 is Theresa May.

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England
UK Law and Legal Issues
UK Politics

Who is in charge of the government in England?

With a constitutional monarchy the Queen is the head of state and her assent is needed for forming a new government - although this is not of much real impact all Members of Parliament do swear an oath of allegiance to the monarch

Control of English Government

The British government is run by the Prime Minister, currently David Cameron. He is head of the administration.

  • Theoretically the leader of the elected party has the position of Prime Minister, and he presides over a Cabinet of Ministers of various departments, health, education, defence, etc. The Cabinet discuss and formulate government policy then recommend their decision to the House of Commons, formed of elected members from all over the UK. 659 members of all parties. The House votes upon the recommendation and if it is carried it becomes government policy if it is defeated it does not. (Most measures have to be passed by the House of Lords, too).
  • In practice the elected party has a majority of members (called seats) and so the Prime Minister is usually able to ensure that all items are passed, although if the opposition parties members can combine their votes it may be defeated. A defeat in the House of Commons usually only happens if some members of the governing party rebel.
It is possible for a minority government to hold power - one where the largest party does not have an overall majority in the House of Commons - but these seldom last and are ineffectual unless they can broker a deal with one of the other parties.

The only right of the Queen in the UK according to the Ministry of Justice, is the right to be consulted. In practice that means the Government is legally free to ignore her advice. The Queen is still held in great respect by the people so the Government has that to consider if her displeasure becomes known.

That last part isn't true. The royal family isn't particularly popular. Furthermore, they are expected to stay away from politics altogether. (Having said that, Prince Charles does make public remarks from time to time, usually in support of organic farming or something similar.)

Control of power can depend on a number of factors. Officially all power stems from the Head of State, the Queen, although her powers are mostly viewed as ceremonial. Since Peel in the 18C the position of Prime Minister has been the most significant one and it is the holder of this role as leader of his party, who is responsible for key appointments and for chairing the Cabinet which meets daily to decide policy. Limits to the power of PM include a small majority in the Commons, which makes him prey to factional influence from his and opposition parties, economic conditions and personality. Since the early 20C the PM must be a member of the Commons and therefore there is also a leader for each party in the second chamber, which is the House of Lords.

At different times and under different circumstances the limits to the power of the PM are also varied. Mrs Thatcher from 1983 had a substantial majority in the Commons and a forceful personality. She was therefore perceived to be very much in control. The previous PM had been James Callaghan who led a minority administration and could not impose his will on a Labour party riven by factional fighting. He is therefore seen to be a weak leader. Other factors can include external politics - Eden's position was fatally weakended by US opposition to the Suez crisis.

In previous decades one constant in Govt was the Civil Service and arguments have been made that true power was vested in this body. Since the 80s this has been eroded by the prevalence of political advisers to such an extent that now this group is identified as a power in itself. From this stems the criticism of Alistair Campbell under Blair and to some extent (because he is not voted into office but ennobled for political reasons) Peter Mandelson.
The government, with David Cameron as Prime Minister.

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World War 2
Britain in WW2
UK History
UK Politics
UK Prime Ministers

Who was British Prime Minister in World War 2?

Answer When Britain declared war on Germany, on 3rd September 1939, the Prime Minister was Neville Chanberlain. He resigned on 10th May 1940 amid increasing criticism of the conduct of the war. He died six months later, on 9th November 1940. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by Winston Churchill, who despite being regarded as one of the greatest Prime Ministers because of his conduct of the war, was defeated in the General Election of 1945.
Neville Chamberlain until May 1940. Winston Churchill from May 1940 until July 1945. Clement Attlee from July 1945
At the beginning of the war, on 3rd September 1939, it was Neville Chamberlain, whose attempts at controlling Hitler by diplomatic means had failed despite the apparent success of the Munich Summit the previous year.

After the disastrous Anglo-French retreat from the beaches of Dunkirk, Chamberlain resigned in May 1940 and was replaced by Winston Churchill, who took over the post only a couple of weeks before the Battle of Britain and remained in office as head of a Coalition Government until the end of the war in Europe in May 1945.

Very soon after this, a General Election was called which saw Churchill ousted and replaced by the Labour government of Clement Attlee- it was Attlee who was Prime Minister when the war ended against Japan, in August 1945.

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History of England
UK Politics
UK Government

What is the Lord Chancellor's seat called?

When the Lord Chancellor presided over the House of Lords, he or she would occupy the woolsack. Now that the functions of the Lord Chancellor as presiding officer have been removed to the Lord Speaker, it is the Lord Speaker who takes up the woolsack during meetings of the House of Lords. The current woolsack (the original was damaged during the Second World War) is a seat with no arms or back, apholstered with red cloth, and stuffed with wool collected from several Commonwealth countries (to demonstrate the unity of the Commonwealth of Nations).

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History, Politics & Society
Acronyms & Abbreviations
UK Politics

What is HC in British political documents?

house of commons

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UK Politics
Margaret Thatcher

Is Margaret Thatcher still living?

No, Margaret Thatcher died April 8, 2013 at the age of 87.

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UK Politics
UK Government

What is the structure of the Parliament of the UK?

Answer (If there are minor problems with the answer, you should note that I'm in Canada. Our systems are similar, but with some differences.) Quick answer: The Sovereign--The House of Lords--The House of Commons. It actually makes more sense to start with the Commons. Representatives from the entire country are elected to sit in the House. Normally these M.P.'s are members of one of the political parties (Labour, Conservative, etc.), though there are also independent members. If one party has an overall majority, the Queen invites its leader to form a government. In this the Queen simply confirms the wishes of the people. If there is no overall majority, the leader of a large party may be able to command enough support to govern, either informally with the support of minority parties or formally as part of a coalition. The Prime Minister selects several people, usually M.P.'s, to handle important departments These are known as the cabinet. Traditionally they are members of the governing party, but it is possible for others to be part of the cabinet if no party has an overall majority in the parliament. Other people are appointed to run the lesser departments and to assist in so doing. These people are often known informally as ministers.

People can sit in the House of Lords in one of a few ways. The first is to inherit or be given a hereditary peerage and then get elected by your fellow hereditary peers. The second is to be given a life peerage by one of the political parties. The third is to be given a life peerage by the House of Lords Appointments Committee. The fourth is to become one of the 21 most senior bishops, or the Bishop of London, of Durham, of Winchester or the Archbishop of Canterbury or York. So long as the person is over 21, he or she can be a peer. They will have the position for life (unless they are a bishop or archbishop).

Government is effected by the introduction of proposed laws called bills, which are debated and voted on by one House, then the other. The government usually introduces its main policy bills in the Commons. The details of the career of a bill are complex, but are summmarized well in the wikipedia article 'Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom'.

Once the bills are passed by both Houses, they are given to the sovereign for royal assent, though it should be noted that no bill has not been given royal assent since the early 1700's. Check out the Parliamentary website--they can give a lot more info than I can.

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Elizabeth II
UK Politics

Does England have a governor general?

No.

As Her Majesty the Queen is resident in the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, the Queen does not need a representative. Her Majesty performs the functions of the head of State personally.

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Politics and Government
United Kingdom
UK Politics

Is National Front still active in Britain today?

Yes, but not in a major way

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Scotland
UK Politics

How many MSPs are there in the Scottish Parliament?

There are 129 MSPs (and therefore seats) in the Scottish Parliament

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UK Politics

What is the queens real name?

The Queen's full name is Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. However, Windsor is not really her surname as people with royal titles don't hold official surnames so she is simply referred to as Elizabeth II most of the time, rather than Elizabeth Windsor.

Queen Elizabeth's real surname is Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The family changed the name as it is a German surname and that would not bode well considering the World Wars.

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UK History
UK Politics

Who said 'Don't go all wobbly on me now George'?

"Don't go all wobbly on me now George" is a famous quotation from Margaret Thatcher, directed at George H Bush.

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Politics and Government
United Kingdom
UK Politics
UK Prime Ministers

Does the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom have more power than the Queen?

Answer 1: The Prime Minister is the actual head of the executive, takes most of the key decisions and can (usually) rely on a majority in Parliament. The Queen is essentially a figure head.

Answer 2: No. The Queen can dismiss her Prime Minister with a single command and replace him or her with a person of her own choice. The Prime Minister has no such reciprocal power. This clearly puts the ultimate power in the hands of the monarch. The Prime Minister can essentially be regarded as the manager of the Queens's estate, whereas the Queen is the Head of State. The Queen has other powers that the Prime Minister does not have, such as single handedly being able to declare war on other countries, where the Prime Minister needs Parliamentary, and often UN approval.

Answer 3: According to the Constitution, all public power (executive, legislative and judicial) is created and commanded by the Queen. The Prime Minister is, in theory, a counsellor who advises her. In practice, it is a more complex situation, because the UK is a democracy, so public will must be law. So, more or less, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet take the executive decisions, but it is the Queen, through the Privy Council, who makes those decisions effective. She is not forced to accept all ministerial decisions, this is why she meets the Prime Minister once a week to discuss matters of State and advise him. This is the reason why the Executive is called Her Majesty's Government, to indicate it is her who governs and has the power, not the ministers. Nowadays the UK is a strong democracy, so the Queen will only interfere when the Government behave improperly.

Now, taking into the account the prime minister is appointed by the Queen and the Queen is also the head of Parliament and Courts, she has more authority than the PM.

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History of England
UK Politics

Who was Prime Minister before John Major?

Margaret Thatcher

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UK Politics

What do the letters AM stand for?

If you're looking at a radio, it stands for Amplitude Modulation. If you're looking at a clock, it stands for antemeridiem. If you're looking at a periodic table, it stands for Americium.

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