Government of the United Kingdom, formally and commonly referred to as Her Majesty's Government

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Government of the

United Kingdom

The Government of the United Kingdom,

formally and commonly referred to as

Her Majesty's Government,

[note 1]

 is the

central government of the United

Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern



 The government is led by the

prime minister (currently Boris Johnson,

since 24 July 2019), who selects all the

other ministers. The prime minister and

their most senior ministers belong to the

supreme decision-making committee,

known as the Cabinet.


Her Majesty's Government






United Kingdom


Prime Minister (Boris


Appointed by

The Monarch of the

United Kingdom

(Elizabeth II)

Main organ

Cabinet of the United



25 ministerial

departments, 20 non-



Responsible to

Parliament of the

United Kingdom

Annual budget

GB£882 billion


10 Downing Street,



British Parliament

Ministers of the Crown are responsible to

the House in which they sit; they make

statements in that House and take

questions from members of that House.

For most senior ministers this is usually

the elected House of Commons rather

than the House of Lords. The

government is dependent on Parliament

to make primary legislation,


 and since

the Fixed-terms Parliaments Act 2011,

general elections are held every five

years to elect a new House of Commons,

unless there is a successful vote of no

confidence in the government or a two-

thirds vote for a snap election (as was

the case in 2017) in the House of

Commons, in which case an election may

be held sooner. After an election, the

monarch (currently Queen Elizabeth II)

selects as prime minister the leader of

the party most likely to command the

confidence of the House of Commons,

usually by possessing a majority of



Under the uncodified British constitution,

executive authority lies with the monarch,

although this authority is exercised only

by, or on the advice of, the prime minister

and the cabinet.


 The Cabinet members

advise the monarch as members of the

Privy Council. In most cases they also

exercise power directly as leaders of the

government departments, though some

Cabinet positions are sinecures to a

greater or lesser degree (for instance

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster or

Lord Privy Seal).

The government is occasionally referred

to with the metonym Westminster, due to

that being where many of the offices of

the government are situated, especially

by members in the Scottish Government,

the Welsh Government and the Northern

Ireland Executive in order to differentiate

it from their own.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional

monarchy in which the reigning monarch


(that is, the king or queen who is the

head of state at any given time) does not

make any open political decisions. All

political decisions are taken by the

government and Parliament. This

constitutional state of affairs is the result

of a long history of constraining and

reducing the political power of the

monarch, beginning with Magna Carta in


Since the start of Edward VII's reign in

1901, the prime minister has always

been an elected member of Parliament

(MP) and therefore directly accountable

to the House of Commons. A similar

convention applies to the chancellor of

the exchequer. It would likely be

politically unacceptable for the budget

speech to be given in the Lords, with MPs

unable to directly question the

Chancellor, especially now that the Lords

have very limited powers about money

bills. The last chancellor of the

exchequer to be a member of the House

of Lords was Lord Denman, who served

as interim chancellor of the exchequer

for one month in 1834.


The British monarch, currently Elizabeth

II, is the head of state and the sovereign,

Her Majesty's Government

and the Crown

but not the head of government. The

monarch takes little direct part in

governing the country and remains

neutral in political affairs. However, the

authority of the state that is vested in the

sovereign, known as the Crown, remains

as the source of executive power

exercised by the government.

In addition to explicit statutory authority,

the Crown also possesses a body of

powers in certain matters collectively

known as the royal prerogative. These

powers range from the authority to issue

or withdraw passports to declarations of

war. By long-standing convention, most

of these powers are delegated from the

sovereign to various ministers or other

officers of the Crown, who may use them

without having to obtain the consent of


The prime minister also has weekly

meetings with the monarch, who "has a

right and a duty to express her views on

Government matters...These meetings,

as with all communications between The

Queen and her Government, remain

strictly confidential. Having expressed

her views, The Queen abides by the

advice of her ministers."


Royal prerogative powers include, but are

not limited to, the following:

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