Leader of the House of Commons
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Leader of the
House of Commons
|Office of the Leader of the House|
|Style||The Right Honourable|
|Inaugural holder||Sir Robert Walpole|
|Formation||4 April 1721|
The Leader of the House of Commons is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons. Because this office does not attract a ministerial salary, it is usually held jointly with another ministerial position (often a sinecure). Although at one time the position was usually held by the Prime Minister, in recent years, the post has usually been combined with that of Lord President of the Council (i.e., of the Privy Council); from 2003 it has been combined instead with the office of Lord Privy Seal.
The House of Commons devotes approximately three quarters of its time to Government business, such as bills introduced by the government and ministerial statements. The Leader of the House, with the parties' chief whips ("the usual channels"), is responsible for organising the government business and providing time for non-government business to be put before the House, and announces the next week's schedule in the Business Statement each Thursday.
Jointly administered by the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons and the Cabinet Office are the Osmotherly Rules, which set out guidance on how civil servants should respond to parliamentary select committees.
Leaders of the House of Commons since 1721
At times the nominal leadership was held by the Prime Minister but the day-to-day work was done by a Deputy. At other times a Deputy was appointed merely to enhance an individual politician's standing within the government.
|Name||Portrait||Took office||Left office||Offices held in conjunction||Political Party||Prime Minister|
|Robin Cook||8 June 2001||17 March 2003||Lord President of the Council||Labour||Tony Blair|
|John Reid||4 April 2003||13 June 2003||Lord President of the Council||Labour|
|Peter Hain||11 June 2003||6 May 2005||Lord Privy Seal||Labour|
|Geoff Hoon||6 May 2005||5 May 2006||Lord Privy Seal||Labour|
|Jack Straw||5 May 2006||27 June 2007||Lord Privy Seal||Labour|
|Harriet Harman||28 June 2007||11 May 2010||Lord Privy Seal
Minister for Women and Equality
|Sir George Young, Bt||12 May 2010||3 September 2012||Lord Privy Seal||Conservative||David Cameron
|Andrew Lansley||4 September 2012||14 July 2014||Lord Privy Seal||Conservative|
|William Hague||14 July 2014||Incumbent||First Secretary of State||Conservative|
- Leader of the House of Lords
- Speaker of the British House of Commons
- Minister for Parliamentary Business, the equivalent cabinet post in the Scottish Government
- Gay, Oonagh (4 August 2005). "The Osmotherly Rules (Standard Note: SN/PC/2671)". Parliament and Constitution Centre, House of Commons Library. Retrieved 22 May 2009.[dead link]