Describe in detail the administrative powers of Prime Minister of England.

(1) Introduction To British Prime Minister:

In Great Britain, appointment of Prime Minister is not explained under constitution or law. Concept of Prime Minister has been evolved in Great Britain during those constitutional changes, which spread over centuries. In fact, appointment of Prime Minister is due to convention. Now it is an admitted convention that British King/Queen invites a person, who commands majority in House of Commons, to form government. Thus, British King/Queen appoints Prime Minister from House of Commons.

 (2) British Prime Minister as Actual Head Of Government:

Undoubtedly, British Monarch is constitutional head of Great Britain, but British Prime Minister is considered actual head of British government. The reason is that all royal powers are practically exercised either by British Prime Minister or by his/her cabinet-ministers in the name of British Crown.

British Prime Minister holds an influential place in the government. With the passage of time, a number of powers of British Prime Minister have been evolved. Therefore, British Prime Minister possesses many powers. He is head of administration and possesses following administrative powers:

  • (i) British-Cabinet:
  • (ii)  Various Appointments:
  • (iii) National Policy :
  • (iv) Government-Departments:
  • (v) Advisor To British King/Queen:

(i) British-Cabinet:

British Prime Minister can appoint minister of his/her cabinet. Prime Minister possesses power to allocate functions and departments among ministers. Prime Minister chairs meetings of British-Cabinet, British Prime Minister coordinates not only the activities and policies of the cabinet, but also those of governmental departments.

(ii)  Various Appointments:

No-doubt, actual appointments are made in most cases by British King/Queen, but selections and recommendations are made by the Prime Minister. British Prime Minister possesses power to advice British King/Queen for following appointments:

  • (a) Finance Minister
  • (b) Ministers of cabinet
  • (c) Senior civil & military officers
  • (d) Ambassadors & diplomatic representatives
  • (e) Governor-Generals Of Dominions & Governors Of Colonies
  • (f) Peerages, knighthoods & Other Honours:

(a) Finance Minister:

On advice of Prime Minister, British King/Queen appoints Finance Minister.

(b) Ministers Of Cabinet:

Ministers of a cabinet are usually appointed by British Monarch on advice of Prime Minister. However, British Prime Minister can dismiss or ask for resignation of any Cabinet-Minister.

(c) Senior Civil & Military Officers:

Senior civil and military officers are appointed by British Monarch through advice of Prime Minister.

(d) Ambassadors & Diplomatic Representatives

On advice of Prime Minister, British King/Queen appoints ambassadors. High Commissioners and diplomatic representatives.

 (e) Governor-Generals Of Dominions & Governors Of Colonies:

Governor-Generals of Dominions & Governors of Colonies are usually appointed by British Monarch on advice of Prime Minister.

(f) Peerages, knighthoods & Other Honours:

Peerages, knighthoods and other honours are given by British King/Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister.

(iii) National Policy :

British Prime Minister possesses power to make national policy regarding national as well as foreign affairs. Therefore, he/she has control over national and foreign affairs.

(iv) Government-Departments:

British Prime Minister has also control over government-departments. Especially he/she plays an important role to settle disputes among different government-departments.

(v) Advisor To British King/Queen:

Another important power of British Prime Minister is that he/she is chief advisor to British Monarch. He/she can advice British King/Queen on critical matters like dissolution of Parliament.

(3) Conclusion:

To conclude, it can be stated that one recent observation about Constitutional role and powers of British Prime Minister is that growing role and powers of British Prime Minister are transforming present British political system into presidential system.

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