Talk:Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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Inaugural speech[edit]

By tradition new Prime Ministers, before entering No. 10 for the first time, make a short speech in which they say words to the effect of, "Today I met with Her Majesty the Queen who asked me to form an administration and I have accepted." They then normally make a short statement; Margret Thatcher famously quoted Francis of Assisi. I think this tradition should be mentioned somewhere on this page, though I'm not sure where or how to word it. --Philip Stevens 12:02, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Messy section removed[edit]

I just removed a messy section (diff) but I do think there may be useful information in there. If anyone would like to have it moved to a more appropriate area, the section is of course, in the above diff. Beno1000 15:49, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Er...that section has been there for ages, at least since the article was given featured status. I'm glad to see someone has restored it. Marks87 16:12, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
The "messy section" is the introduction of the article, summarizing the major points of the rest of the article. It doesn't really have a place anywhere else. An anonymous user added that unnecesary header, but that's no reason to remove the whole thing. Leebo T/C 19:22, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Prime Minister and Nuclear Weapons[edit]

Just out of curiosity, how do we know that the Prime Minister can authorise the use of nuclear weapons but not actually order them to be launched? Who actually orders the launch if the PM doesn't, and can the Prime Minister order said person to order a launch? I know the Prime Minister can't order the launch itself since he or she would not be aboard the submarine but surely he or she can order the submarine's captain to launch the Trident missiles?

I'm a bit unsure as to why the PM can't order the launch him/herself... he or she writes a letter at the beginning of their premiership in their own hand to be locked away in a safe aboard the Vanguard submarines giving detailed orders to the submarine's commander as to how to react to a nuclear attack on Britain should contact be lost (one of the options is obviously 'retaliate using nuclear weapons'). Are these not classed as orders? 88.104.254.149 23:42, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

My (admittedly limited) understanding of nuclear protocol is that, formally, the Monarch is the only one with the power to order the use of nuclear weapons. Indeed, I think that the orders to the nuclear submarines would be written in terms of 'Her Majesty orders...etc.etc. However, as with all things in the British Constitution, this power resides, de facto, with the PM. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.157.224.188 (talk) 21:43, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Wow! This one has been here a while with out an answer! In short answer is that the PM can, and is the only person who can request Her Majesty to deploy weapons of any type. With her presumed approval, this means the PM is also the only one that can order the release. The "power" of the Monarch to say no is less likely than the Cabinet to revolt. The concept of a Caucus revolt, is in reality the only thing stopping a PM from launching while drunk or somthing... ;) Dphilp75 (talk) 17:23, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Considering the unwritten convention with regard to the exercise of prerogative powers: the PM is the only one who has the political legitimacy to use those powers, even though they technically belong to the monarch. RicJac (talk) 16:48, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Security[edit]

Who is responsible for personal protection of the Prime Minister? And has former PM's personal protections, like i.e. former U.S. Presidents Darth Kalwejt 13:13, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Security for the UK Prime Minister is covered by The Metropolitan Police Service (Diplomatic Protection Group).

The Diplomatic Protection Group’s (DPG) primary responsibility is the safety and security of London's diverse diplomatic and government community. The unit provides protection for foreign missions in London, such as embassies, high commissions, consular sections and official residencies in accordance with Article 22 of the Vienna Convention 1961. This duty is carried out whilst continuing to deliver a reassuring and highly professional service to the people of London.

Specifically the DPG provides overt armed protection in the capital, armed guards at London's hospitals, and assistance to other police units and agencies at times of high demand, and an immediate response to armed and other critical incidents. They look after:

-The diplomatic community in London. -Her Majesty's Government, former prime ministers, government ministers and other people assessed to be at risk. -The Foreign & Commonwealth Office. -Visiting head's of state, and Government and Foreign Ministers. -Staff and visitors at New Scotland Yard. -Hospital patients at threat and hospital staff.

They use bright red police cars that are easily identifiable. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2.123.227.109 (talk) 03:01, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Numeric order of PMs[edit]

I have just been on an edit skirmish, if not a war, with Bigdog77, who was systematically numbering all PMs down from Gordon Brown. He got as far back as Neville Chamberlain. A similar edit was started a few days ago, and there was a discussion (on either Gordon Brown or Tony Blair) which ended with the opinion that they should not be numbered, as unlike US presidents, their numeric progression is not often recalled, or used in any meaningful way, but I would be interested in the views of others. Regards, Lynbarn 10:55, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

There is no clear consensus on numerous questions in all this, which means that it's hard to say for certain who was the fourth PM - Bath? Pelham? Newcastle? Lord Grenville? Portland? Gladstone? Portland? Law? MacDonald? Baldwin? Churchill? Eden? See Talk:List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom#Numbering and Talk:Gordon Brown#52nd Prime Minister? for numerous points on this. When Gordon Brown could be reasonably numbered as low as 15th and as high as 84th there isn't much point in this and in any case it would be OR. Timrollpickering 11:39, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
I noticed one of the changes made by Bigdog77 and was just checking to see how extensive his or her changes were, when I realised that you (Lynbarn) were sorting them out. I absolutely agree that we don't number PMs. If we did, we could argue about where the numbering starts from - one could make a case for Disraeli, rather than Walpole, for instance. The other problem would be for PMs who served more than once: would you refer to Gladstone as the 40th, 42nd, 44th and 46th PM? I can't find any precedent for using numbers: the media, for example, never use them, so I agree that it is OR. Bluewave 11:58, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Having looked at Eton college's claim to have produced 19 prime ministers and wishing to put this into perspective, I was very disappointed that I had to come here to find a good explanation for the absence of numbers, albeit one that can't go in the article as is. Is it possible to provide the explanation in conjunction with the List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom? I'm sure the media would use it!
JRPG (talk) 10:28, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Commons & Lords declarations[edit]

In 1741, it was declared in the Commons that "According to our Constitution we can have no sole and prime minister . . . every . . . officer has his own proper department; and no officer ought to meddle in the affairs belonging to the department of another." In the same year the Lords agreed that "We are persuaded that a sole, or even a first minister, is an officer unknown to the law of Britain, inconsistent with the Constitution of the country and destructive of liberty in any Government whatsoever." These were very much partisan assessments of the day, however.

"It was declared in the Commons" - does that mean the Commons passed a resolution or is this just from the speech of a single MP? Timrollpickering 14:50, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

It was a speech by Samuel Sandys but he was leading a motion for the removal of Walpole so, although it was spoken by a single MP, it represented a body of opinion. I'm pretty sure that Walpole's speech, opposing the resolution, was based on a denial of the suggestion that he was the "sole and prime minister", rather than disputing the constitutional point. Clearly Walpole survived this attack. Bluewave 18:55, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
It would seem best to say who the actual speakers were, rather than to attribute all this to "the Commons" and "the Lords". john k 15:08, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Quoting without references?[edit]

"Prime Minister of the United Kingdom" might be "one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community", but its section "History" is largely based on an article at Archontology.org (see http://www.archontology.org/nations/uk/bpm/01_bpm.php): from "The history of the British Prime Ministers owes much more to speculation of historians, rather than to legal acts" to "The lack of official recognition for the position of Prime Minister..." is only a slightly changed version of the original.

As the author and editor of Archontology.org, I request to include reference to original source or to remove the quoted part.

Thanks.

Editor, Archontology.org editor@archontology.org


A quick glance at the website you mention does indeed show a number of parallels which go well beyond anything that could be attributed to coincidence. It goes without saying that if this turns out to be an instance of plagarism in the wikipedia we will unhesitatingly remove it.
Before we make that conclusion, though, we do have to check backwards in time to make sure that it is plagarism. Other possible explanations— 1) that website is copying the wikipedia (not the other way around); 2) both this article and that website are based on some common public-domain source (such as the 1911 Britannica or suchlike).
[By the way, you'll notice that I'm not taking it for granted that you are the editor of that page. Please don't take this as an insult; we have many instances here on the wikipedia of random busybodies pretending to be something they are not. But your concern is valid and merits investigation whether you are that editor or just a concerned citizen.]
Since I am extremely busy right now, I hope other editors will help me investigate this matter. Thanks, Doops | talk 14:30, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

The earliest the Wayback Machine shows that the material was up on the Archontology website on February 26, 2006. The history of this article shows that this material was added by Oleg Schultz on 9 February 2005, about a year earlier. Schultz appears to still be about - he edited an article a month ago, so I'll notify him of the dispute. I think it would, however, behoove the original complainant to provide some evidence that his article existed and was available prior to February 9, 2005. As it stands now, the dates don't work out for the material to have been plagiarized by wikipedia from Archntology. john k 15:02, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Ah, more information. Looking through Oleg Schultz's contributions, I see that he claims to be the editor of archontology. Thus, whatever is going on would appear to be an instance of Mr. Schultz adding his own work both to his personal website and to wikipedia. Is the original complainant above Mr. Schultz? If so, I don't see how one can complain about material that one oneself added to the site. john k 15:07, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Hi! I hope that I can explain the whole issue. One of my colleagues noticed a similarity between the article on British Prime Ministers at Archontology.org and Wikipedia and posted a complain, although I was not aware of it. It is true that I added the contribution on 9 Feb 2005 which seemed relevant at that time. Recently, I have reviewed the Wikipedia article on "Prime Minister of the United Kingdom" and found that for some reasons it would be better to remove the whole part posted by myself 9 Feb 2005. Thanks. Oleg Schultz 6 Aug 2007.

Mrs. Thatcher - "First Lady"?[edit]

Was Prime Minister Maggie Thatcher "First Lady of the Treasury? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 69.141.82.126 (talk) 22:21:20, August 19, 2007 (UTC)

No, she was First Lord, just as Lord Mayors can also be women. Bizarre, isn't it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.157.224.188 (talk) 21:46, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

de jure December 5, 1905[edit]

This date is given in the info box but surely de jure refers to the law, rather than the Order of Precedence? Wouldn't the first legislative recognition of the existance of the position/office be the correct de jure date? Timrollpickering 23:10, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Oy, has that crept in again? That's the problem with infoboxes. They attempt to make the interesting boring. Doops | talk 04:38, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

is there a requirement to be British?[edit]

The US president has to be at least 35 years old, born in the USA and be resident there for at least 14 years. Are there any similar requirements on the British Prime Minister? The only thing I can think of is that they have to be voted in as an MP, but MPs don't have to be British, so maybe the PM doesn't either? raining girl (talk) 22:35, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

  • There are no requirements on being a PM. But there are on being a MP, and these days it is unlike you'd become Prime Minister without being a MP. To be a MP you must be over 21, and be allegeable to vote in the UK. It should be noted that William Pitt the Younger was only 24 when he became Prime Minister, had he been in the US he would have had to wait 11 years before even trying to be President. --Philip Stevens (talk) 10:46, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
"Allegeable"? Surely you meant "eligible". -- ♬ Jack of Oz[your turn] 11:19, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Regarding the original question I don't think it's ever been set down. In the modern citizenship era I think the person who came nearest to PM without definitely holding British citizenship was Bryan Gould, a New Zealander who lost the 1992 Labour leadership election. There's some uncertainty over whether he ever actually took out British citizenship. Admittedly Gould's chances were remote (he lost the leadership by 10:1 and wasn't the most electable of Labour figures) so I doubt anyone went to look up what forms he needed to fill in to be PM. Timrollpickering (talk) 11:55, 23 June 2012 (UTC)

Salary[edit]

The article does not explain if the Prime Minister's salary (£127,334) is the monthly or annual salary. /Slarre (talk) 23:32, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

The salary is NOT £142,500 "in addition to" the MPs' salary. The £142,500 is a 'combined' ministerial and parliamentary salary. When ministerial pay was cut, they kept Parliamentary salary and just cut the 'top up' salary. See here: http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/latest-news/2010/05/a-new-politics-cutting-ministerial-pay-50065 Hypnoticmonkey (talk) 11:32, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Prime Minister vs. First Lord of the Treasury[edit]

Yesterday, an anonymous user edited the infoboxes of every UK Prime Ministers from Walpole to Derby, replacing the term 'Prime Minister' with First Lord of the Treasury, saying in the edit summary of each 'the term Prime Minister was not used at this time'. See: Special:Contributions/86.162.150.82.

All these edits were quickly reverted. Having looked into this however, the user was correct, the first person to use the term 'Prime Minister' in an official way was Benjamin Disraeli in 1874. All his processors would have been called the First Lord of the Treasury. So which should it be, what we call the equivalent office today, or what the office was called at that time? I note that Walpole is called Prime Minister of Great Britain not Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. --Philip Stevens (talk) 10:48, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure putting [[Prime Minister of the United Kingdom|First Lord of the Treasury]] really solves the problem in any way (especially when Walpole's page now implies he was the first ever First Lord, rather than following Sunderland). The problem with info boxes are that they often take what can be very ambiguous information and try to crowbar it into a simplistic format - here it's not at all clear when the post of Prime Minister became "official" with 1874, 1905, 1917 and 1937 all being tossed around as possible dates, but virtually everyone regards Walpole as the "first" (and the GB/UK changeover as not particularly important compared to a continuous sequence from Walpole to Brown). Plus Chatham wasn't First Lord in this period (and Salisbury usually wasn't if we go later) but to imply a direct jump from Rockingham to Grafton wouldn't be terribly informative.
I think including "Prime Minister" in the infobox is definitely the least worst option, as it's important to indicate the sequence. And this isn't a unique case - look at List of leaders of the Soviet Union for the problems of multiple posts there! But it's clear that there is a position of leading minister in the government that is near universally identified as starting with Walpole and continuing through to today, only gradually accumulating formal recognition. That's what the boxes need to reflect, with perhaps First Lord listed as well. Timrollpickering (talk) 17:54, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
The Earl of Orford
First Lord of the Treasury
(Prime Minister of Great Britain)
In office
4 April 1721 – 11 February 1742
Monarch George I
George II
Preceded by The Earl of Carlisle (not Prime Minister)
Succeeded by The Earl of Wilmington
What about this? --Philip Stevens (talk) 18:15, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Most definetly not this just makes the situation a whole lost worse and confuses everybody. Please revert all of the vandalism (and that is what it will be classes as) straight away. The rules say you must have a discussion about changing a major thing like this before you do it. Until a desicion is reached all infoboxs must be reverted back so that they read Prime Minister of Great Britain and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and (Northern) Ireland respectaively. (Electrobe (talk) 16:36, 10 March 2008 (UTC))

I'm not reverting anything. I had a discussion here and on this page - no one responded. So I practiced the WP:BE BOLD policy within the rules.
Also, why is this edit confusing, if anyone didn't know what the 'First Lord of the Treasury' was all they'd have to do is click the link and they'd see it was the modern version of the Prime Minister? I don't think these are major edits either; it's only one link per page. I note your only objection to the edit is that I didn't have a discussion (except I did), so I can only assume you have no valid objections other than you don't like it. --Philip Stevens (talk) 16:53, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
It seems more like trying to over-ride what’s a clear consensus rather than being BOLD. This has been discussed several times and each time the clear balance of opinion is to use Prime Minister rather than First Lord of the Treasury. - Galloglass 22:42, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Where's the clear consensus, where has this been discussed? --Philip Stevens (talk) 13:47, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

(generally regarded as the first incumbent) (generally regarded as the first incumbent)[edit]

I do bet that a less confusing phrase is feasible.


incumbent

  1. imposed on someone as an obligation, especially due to one's office
  2. {{geology}} resting on something else
  3. being the current holder of an office

[[ hopiakuta Please do sign your signature on your message. ~~ Thank You. -]] 15:45, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

What's the problem with "incumbent"? The OED gives 3 meanings for incumbent as a noun (which is clearly what it is here): 1. The holder of an ecclesiastical benefice; 2. In general sense: The holder of any office; 3. One who leans over something - nonce-use. I doubt if anyone in Wikipedia has heard of the third use and none would really think the first was meant here. The second seems to be exactly the right word for the job: "the holder of any office". Bluewave (talk) 21:57, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Frequent characteristics[edit]

How about mentioning that many PMs went to Eton and then to Oxford or Cambridge (without actually counting the number that did) Hugo999 (talk) 00:36, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

NEEDS TO BE FIXED[edit]

David Cameron Gordon Brown Tony Blair John Major Margaret Thatcher James Callaghan Ted Heath Harold Wilson Alec Douglas-Home Harold Macmillan Anthony Eden Clement Attlee Winston Churchill Neville Chamberlain Stanley Baldwin Ramsay MacDonald Andrew Bonar Law David Lloyd George Herbert Henry Asquith Henry Campbell-Bannerman Arthur Balfour Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury William Ewart Gladstone Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby John Russell, 1st Earl Russell Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen Robert Peel William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich George Canning Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool Spencer Perceval William Wyndham Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth William Pitt the Younger William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne Frederick North, Lord North Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham George Grenville John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne Henry Pelham Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington Robert Walpole

This timeline image needs to be fixed. Such that Conservative politician is under Conservative Prime Minister (rather than above Liberal Prime Minister) and such that Liberal Prime Minister needs to be above Liberal politician - at the bottom of the table.

It is slightly confusing at present, probably a simple fix, but I don't have the time. 202.139.104.226 (talk) 02:25, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

SOURCES?[edit]

Doesn't this article read like original research? Where are the sources that are supposed to be cited? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.102.252.21 (talk) 17:48, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree completely. As a matter of fact, I was about to make the same comment when I saw yours here. I read this article for the first time tonight and that is the first thing that struck me. There are only 10 citations and only 6 references. For an article this length with as many names, dates, conclusions, inferences etc., and also given the ambiguity of the subject matter, I would expect at least 100 citations and maybe twice as many references. But rather than just complain, I will try to make a contribution by adding references and citations in the next few days - as many as I can find in my library. Sir Cloudesley Shovel II (talk) 03:53, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Rewriting, Reorganization and References[edit]

When I read this article for the first time a week or so ago, I found it very confusing. While it is obvious that those who have been working on it know their stuff (especially after reading some of the comments in this Discussion section), the narrative was (and still is) a jumble of statements about the Prime Ministry (particularly in the History section), and there were (and still are) virtually NO REFERENCES. I see now from earlier comments that these are common complaints. To help clear things up (or maybe add to the confusion) I have:

  • 1. added an entirely new section at the beginning called "Constitutional Background". As we all know, briefly describing the British constitution and particularly the relationship between the Sovereign and Prime Minister is VERY, VERY tricky. I am not sure I have suceeded. Being an American Anglophile, I may have gotten carried away with my choice of words in a few places! - feel free to revert, edit etc etc
  • 2. imposed an outline on the History section (with specific years for each subsection) in an effort to give the article a "framework" and improve the flow of the narrative. I have STARTED to reorganize the information in each subsection, putting different points in their right place historically, but there is still a lot more to do - a LOT more! Consequently, the narrative is still a jumble, jumping from one time period to another. My choice of beginning and ending years for each subsection is, of course, debatable - again feel free to revert, edit etc etc. The point is we need some time periods so that each of us knows where to add information. I ended the History section at the year "1911" and created a new main section called "The Modern Office of the Prime Minister" from 1911 to the present. Personally, I think the bulk of the article should be in this main section. I think the narrative framework (apart from the years) for each subsection should be a discussion of the changing relationship during each time period between the Prime Minister on the one hand and the Sovereign, Parliament, Cabinet and political parties on the other. This would add some internal consistency across subsections.
  • 3. started to add references and citations. A week ago when I started working on this article there were only 10 citations; now there are 29. Since Wikipedia claims no original research, I would expect almost every few lines or so would eventually have a reference - well over a hundred by the time it is finished. (I noticed that a few days after I started working on this someone - from Wikipedia? - inserted a statement at the beginning that this article "needs references". So I guess I am not alone in this opinion.)
  • 4. Changed the title of the Chart (for clarity) and shifted it from the middle of the article (where it disrupted the narrative flow and added to confusion) to the end. I too think the Chart is a little confusing; it's an interesting approach and obviously took a lot of work and knowledge to create, but it is confusing. Furthermore, because it is in an unusual format, I wouldn't know how to edit it, even if I wanted to. Maybe a simple "easy to edit" list, like those that appear in other articles, would be better. Sir Cloudesley Shovel II (talk) 11:55, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
I've just been reading the new section on the constitutional background. I agree with the need to set the role of PM in context, to be able to explain, for example, the paradox that a PM has almost no statutory powers but, if he or she commands a large Commons majority, wields almost unlimited de facto power. However, I think the new section is over-long and the detail really belongs to the article on the constitution of the United Kingdom. For instance, by the time I read that the constitution is "a river, whose moving surface glides away at ones feet, meandering in and out in endless curves", I'm thinking "sod the river: just tell me about the prime minister!" There are some stylistic points that could be improved (his/her is an abomination found on government forms, but does not belong in an encyclopaedia, for example) but, overall, I suggest summarising the section quite ruthlessly. Just my view! Bluewave (talk) 08:14, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree and spent a little time this morning editing. Sir Cloudesley Shovel II (talk) 09:48, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
  • 5: The section titled: Populist Prime Ministers - Disraeli and Gladstone has no text, and only consists of a picture. I think this section certainly belongs -- Gladstone and Disraeli are probably two of the most important PMs in UK history, next to Churchill -- but it needs to actually contain a descriptive segment about them, not just a single picture. I don't know if this was inadvertently eliminated at some point or what. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.250.218.18 (talk) 15:51, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
The reason that section is empty, as well as a couple of others (Effects of Devolution and Entry into EU), is that I havent gotten around to writing them yet. I too think they are essential to the overall article. I added them to the outline a couple of weeks ago in the hope that others might contribute. I am starting to write narrative on all three of these blank sections this weekend; hoping to finish them in a week or two (or three) and also clean up the sections on "Confusion and Denial". Sir Cloudesley Shovel II (talk) 16:58, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Intro section[edit]

The current intro says "The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is often described alongside the President of the United States as being one of the most powerful men in the world. This is mainly due to the stretching cultural, political, military and financial influence the United Kingdom has." This sounds to me like wishful thinking! (And I doubt if there is a source for it.) Should it, rather, talk about the considerable powers of the PM in the UK, rather than the world? At home, the PM is arguably more powerful than, for example the President of the US, as he is not constrained by such things as a Constitution! Bluewave (talk) 09:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

  • I agree. But since I did not add those two sentences myself, I was reluctant to delete or edit them. Your suggested change is more accurate (or more "factual" and not wishful thinking) and can be referenced. Sir Cloudesley Shovel II (talk) 13:06, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

why not lift then smoking ban and let the pubs fill up again and thats more money in the banks 81.132.142.52 (talk) 13:29, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Mortgages and the economy[edit]

Dear Sirs Just a thought that since the Banks are not passing the benefits through to the working people why not reintroduce the MIRAS scheme and give mortgage relief back to the people who deserve it thereby timulating money back into the banking system and arrange some kind of indemnity scheme for the first 30% of a first time buyers 95% mortgage thereby putting confidence back into the market and allowing banks to lend freely The benefits would then go where they are needed Yours repectfully Robert Atkins —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.168.70.81 (talk) 15:15, 6 February 2009 (UTC)


First Lady?[edit]

This may be an Americanism.... but on ABC news just now they described the meeting between Michelle Obama and Sarah Brown as the "meeting of the First Ladies". Is the wife of the UK PM called the First Lady? Wouldn't this conflict with the role of the Queen regnant or Queen Consort as the "First lady"♦Drachenfyre♦·Talk 07:05, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

If mentioned at all she's called the wife of the Prime Minister. Upon Charles's accession, Camilla won't be referred to as First Lady - we just don't use the term at all unless talking about America. JacobJHWard (talk) 11:19, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

According to wikipedia, First Lady of the United States is only an unofficial title in any case. The term First Lady is used in some other countries, but I guess this is mainly from American influence. Regards, Lynbarn (talk) 12:02, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

His/Her Majesty's Government[edit]

The Government is legally called "Her Majesty's Government" (see Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 Chapter 27 Section 46(7) among many others). As well as being an ugly phrase, it is not correct to refer to it as His/Her Majesty's Government. Of course, it has been His Majesty's Government in the past and could be again in the future, but currently it is most definitely Her Majesty's Government. Thom2002 (talk) 23:18, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

First Lords of the Treasury[edit]

The article states:

The term "Prime Minister" first appears at this time as an unofficial title for the head of the Treasury. Jonathan Swift, for example, wrote in 1713 about "those who are now commonly called Prime Minister among us", referring to Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin and Robert Harley, Queen Anne's Lord Treasurers and chief ministers. [12] From this time, every head of the Sovereign's government – with one exception in the 18th century and one in the 19th – has been either Lord High Treasurer or, more commonly, First Lord of the Treasury.

I assume the exceptions intended are Chatham and Salisbury. But this isn't really true, is it? Lord Halifax was not head of George I's first government, nor was Walpole the head of a government in 1716. For the 1714-1721 period, for the most part, it was the secretaries of state who were considered heads of the administration, not the First Lords of the Treasury (except for Stanhope's stint at the treasury in 1717-1718). Even beyond that, we have several periods in the eighteenth century where it's not at all clear that the man at the treasury should be considered "the head of the sovereign's government," even though he is the man on our lists of prime ministers. john k (talk) 16:26, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Cameron[edit]

We may as well save ourselves some time and add Cameron to the artilce already...

Infobox[edit]

The United Kingdom is part of the Commonwealth so I think it should have the same infobox template as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other commonwealth realms. So I am changing it because it only makes sense for the Prime Minister of the UK's page and the other Prime Minister of those commonwealth realms to be the same. Unless someone wants to make the other commonwealth realms the same as the Prime Minister of the UK's page. I don't care which but I think they should be the same considering they are all in the Commonwealth together. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.7.14.105 (talk) 22:15, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

What should be done: A discussion covering all Commonwealth realm PMs at a chosen place. GoodDay (talk) 22:17, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
PS: Why don't you respond to the posts at User talk:174.7.14.105? -- GoodDay (talk) 22:19, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't want to. And I told you what I think. Choose one. Convert them all the the UK's page or chnage the Uk's page liek the rest of the commonwealth realms. It only makes sense that they should be the same. 174.7.14.105 (talk) 22:24, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

We are not here to bow to your demands. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 22:25, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
174.7.14.105, patients is a virtue & you've just tried by virtue. IMHO, it's best an adminstrator gives you some time off. GoodDay (talk) 22:28, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Thats nice. 174.7.14.105 (talk) 22:32, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

See WP:COMMONWEALTH, as I've opened a discussion there, concerning all Commonwealth realm PMs. GoodDay (talk) 22:34, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

There is absolutely no justification for having these match across commonwealth countries. There is no real reason why the articles should fit into any particular framework, but, as it is, they look like similar articles related to their respective countries. If there has been some degree of imitation among Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, that does not create a need for the UK to conform. -Rrius (talk) 22:43, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

I pointed out WP:OTHERSTUFF to the anon when he tried to remove the minister infobox from Prime Minister of Canada on the grounds that this page used the political office infobox. Of course, now it applies here to the reverse scenario, but, I'm nearly convinced he simply doesn't bother to read the guidelines. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 22:53, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes it does. Because Miesianiacal keeps telling me how the template of the infobox for Canada, Austrailia and the other comolonwealth realms should be the same. Thats why we compremised on it and we both got what we wanted. I think it makes a lot of sense for it to be the same. So compremise or I'll keep doing what I am doing. I'm not doing anything wrong. I am stating my opinion and I am going by it. And i am disscussing it. 174.7.14.105 (talk) 22:49, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

I said no such thing. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 22:53, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
"I'll keep doing what I'm doing", that's not very good. GoodDay (talk) 22:50, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Yes you did. You didn't let me change the Prime Minsiter of Canada's infobox like the PM of the Uk or thew President of the US's infobox. you said it should be the same as the other templates.

"The template you keep deleting was designed so as to use a colour coding system to differentiate between ministers in simple states and federations, as well as between federal and provincial/state ministers in the latter. " That is what you said. Austrailia, and all the other commonwealth realms have it too so why not the Uk???????—Preceding unsigned comment added by 174.7.14.105 (talkcontribs) 22:59, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Nowhere in what you quote from me did I say the infoboxes for all Commonwealth realms ministers should be the same. What I said regarding the Canadian prime minister's infobox was that it should be the same as the other Canadian ministers. Regardless of that, your bulldozing of consensus was the bigger concern. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 23:09, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
I would like to draw your attention to our guideline on disrupting Wikipedia to make a point. Trying to be disruptive here to undermine an argument in another part of Wikipedia is not particularly helpful. The edit summary on your latest edit is quite informative of your motivations; "Yes it is. If you don't like it change it for Canada and all the other commonwealth realms."[1] Road Wizard (talk) 23:02, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
The UK isn't a federal system, so a template designed for such a system doesn't fit its articles. More importantly, you are entitled to have and express your opinion, but you are not allowed to enforce it on Wikipedia when you meet resistance. You edited, were reverted, and it is now time to talk without changing the article. Before continuing, you really need to read up on Wikipedia policy. -Rrius (talk) 23:06, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Revisions Made to Introduction and Other Sections[edit]

A few minutes ago, I made some major changes to the Introduction and other sections: rearranging paragraphs, eliminating a section entirely and eliminating a few sentences and words here and there. Since this editing is fairly radical I thought I should briefly explain the reasons. I have been working on this article for more than two years and have contributed significantly (and I hope positively) to it as can be seen in the "history".

First: For the past several months, I have been reading and re-reading the Introduction and first section and always felt that they just didn't seem to flow right. The major problem was that the Introduction didn't completely summarize the article, as I think an Introduction should. Therefore, I moved the paragraph that summarizes the history of the Premiership from the first section back into the Introduction (where it was originally). I wrote this paragraph myself some time ago. It divides the history of the Premiership (somewhat arbitrarily) into three periods: Early (1720-1784), Classical (1784-1911) and Modern (1911 to present). This is also roughly the way the entire article is organized.

Second: Since the Introduction is a "summary" I also eliminated some of the detail that has crept into it. This detail is presented in the body of the article and should not clog up the Introduction. In particular, I eliminated the parenthetical phrase "(Britain's membership in the European Union, the devolution of certain government functions to Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the enactment of a British Bill of Rights)" because it was too much detail for an Introduction.

Finally, I also eliminated the section called "Peers as Prime Ministers" because it was mostly redundant; almost all of this material was already covered in previous sections. The few points not covered previously could be added elsewhere or as footnotes.

I know that making significant changes like these often offends some people. That is not my intent and if I have caused offense I apologize. Obviously, the changes I have made can easily be reverted if there is consensus to do so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sir Cloudesley Shovel II (talkcontribs) 10:50, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

Selection procedure[edit]

I was surprised to find that the article does not cover the current procedure for selecting the PM. --Smack (talk) 04:38, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

The monarch formally requests the person who can command a majority in the House of Commons to form a government. This is usually the leader of the party that has won a majority of seats at a Generaol Election. The parties choose their own leaders according to their own constitutions--Captdoc (talk) 19:27, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Is it true that the outgoing PM advises the Queen to invite the new PM to form a government? That is to say, Major would have, upon resigning, advised her to invite Blair, and that at Blair's resignation he would have advised her to appoint Brown. -Rrius (talk) 19:38, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

That is the opinion of two witnesses before the Justice Committee in February this year;[2]
"I think it is clear that the incumbent Prime Minister in a sense has first refusal in this process. He can see whether he can find an arrangement that would produce support for himself and his party. This is what happened in 1974..." Lord Turnbull
"it is important that the Queen is not involved until the Queen can be sure that the person she invites to form a government has got the best possible chance of doing that. That is something which the outgoing Prime Minister has got a duty to advise her on." Lord Butler of Brockwell
From the way the witnesses phrased themselves throughout the hearing I think the Prime Minister advising the Monarch is a constitutional convention where the advice is expected but where there is no written/legal requirement to provide it. That is the trouble with unwritten constitutions, as there is far greater room for alternative interpretations. Road Wizard (talk) 22:19, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

came here to try to understand how a prime minister is elected/selected to the office. the wiki article gives much information on the intricate history of the u.k. prime minister, but very little on just how one arrives to the office in simplistic terms (and in modern times). this user was fortunate that a google search "how is uk prime minister elected" offered up this link - http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100506183243AAiYVEO - which pretty much answered a casually interested non-brit's question. too bad wikipedia couldn't achieve that somewhere in its lengthy article. regards.--98.113.187.11 (talk) 05:11, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Representative examples[edit]

This article is very overloaded in examples which pertain to Tony Blair. It is in real need of making those more neutral - both in time and political leaning. Examples should not, and need not be the most recent popular PM. wangi (talk) 02:59, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

I disagree completely with this comment for the following reasons.
1. The use of Tony Blair as an example of a modern PM at the beginning of several sections is a "literary devise" (if you will); a. it provides a consistent structure to the narrative, 2. it makes the narrative easier and more familiar for the average reader who may know little about PM's and the history of the PM but at least knows the names of recent ones.
2. The treatment of the Blair examples is very neutral; they appear very factual (in keeping with the wikipedia style)
3. Most (not all) of the other PM's are mentioned as examples at least once, some several times (i.e. Walpole, Pitt the Younger, Liverpool, Peel, Thatcher, Churchill)
4. Some PM's are given much MORE space overall in the article than Blair (such as: Walpole, Pitt the Younger, Grey, Peel, Disraeli and Gladstone, Asquith)
Sir Cloudesley Shovel II (talk) 09:30, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Changed New Paragraph Under "Constitutional Background" to Footnote[edit]

Recently, the following paragraph was added to the section "Constitutional Background":

"The Sovereign also still possesses and may, at her discretion, exercise what are called reserve powers. These powers include several important political powers, including the sole authority to dismiss a Prime Minister and government of the day in extremely rare and exceptional circumstances (a Sovereign, William IV, last dismissed a government using reserve powers in 1834), and other essential powers to preserve the stability of the nation. These reserve powers are available to her to use without the consent of Parliament. She also, through her various Governor Generals in the Commonwealth nations, has various and differed reserve powers in each realm. Reserve powers, in practice, are the court of absolute last resort in resolving situations that fundamentally threaten the security and stability of the nation as a whole and are almost never used. Elizabeth II has never used her reserve powers."

I have changed it to a footnote and deleted a sentence for the following reasons:

1. The paragraph doesn't really add anything to the previous paragraph. Her "reserve powers" are really the same as her "prerogative powers" that are still available (as noted in the previous paragraph) but have fallen into disuse. The fact that Queen Elizabeth II has never used her "reserve powers" only reinforrces the point made in the previous paragraph.

2. The "example" of William iv dismissing a government as a sovereign's use of a reserve power really doesnt illustrate this at all. As discussed in detail in the later section "The Great Reform Bill - Grey" this incident actually illustrates why sovereigns STOPPED using the prerogative power of appointing PM. I therefore deleted this sentence in the footnote.

3. The sentence about the sovereign's reserve powers with respect to the various Governors General, while it may be true (I dont know enough about this to say that it is true), is beside the point and distracting. This is an article about the PM of the United Kingdom not the sovereign's political relationships with the leaders of the various commonwealth nations.

Change in Prime Minister[edit]

It's amazing just how many people want to play Monarch and appoint a Prime Minister before Her Majesty allows one of them to Kiss Hands.. I just wanted to give a pat on the back to those of you who are putting Partisan issues aside an ensuring that the Incumbent accurately stays as PM on this page. Dphilp75 (talk) 17:16, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Protection[edit]

This page should be protected until the Queen's Speech, or whenever it has become official that Her Majesty has chosen a Prime Minister. Jagislaqroo (talk) 18:36, 11 May 2010 (UTC) {{editsemiprotected}}

I have added a semiprotection request at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. Tim Pierce (talk) 18:47, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Picture of Cameron[edit]

Now I don't particularly like David Cameron, but can't someone put up a picture that doesn't make him look like a douche? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.32.84.204 (talk) 00:10, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

It's not a particularly good picture, sure, but it's the one that has been used for David Cameron in every Wiki article.94.173.12.152 (talk) 15:12, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Recommended Reorganization[edit]

Based on some of the comments made recently, I recommend that we reorganize this article and add a new section. Basically, I think it should have two major parts in this order:

Modern Office of Prime Minister
History of the Office of Prime Minister

Sections that are currently at the end - such as "Precedence, Priviledges, and Forms of Address" and "Retirement Honors" - would be moved to the front into the first part. The first part would also have a new section I have given the working title of "General Election and Appointment". This new section would describe how a person becomes prime minister: election to the Commons, election as leader of a major party, etc etc.

The second part would contain only the history of the office. Althoough there would have to be some repition of information in order for the narrative to make sense, some sentences and paragraphs currently in the historical section could be moved into the new first part.

This is a radical change so I have not made the actual edit. Instead I have created this proposed version in my sandbox which can be accessed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Sir_Cloudesley_Shovel_II/Sandbox In this "sandbox" version, I have not only rearranged the parts and sections but also made some (but by no means all) of the other edits that will be necessary. I will wait a while to see if there are any comments or objections before actually making this proposed reorganization in the article itself.

Wikipedia considers the article to be too long (over 90 KB); the recommended length is more like 30-50 KB. Therefore, eventually, we may want to divide it into two separate articles: "The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom" and "History of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom" Sir Cloudesley Shovel II (talk) 20:46, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

My two cents: In an article of this size, there should be more than two level-two headings. What's more, not all of what you are calling history is history. Also, it seems odd to bury the "Background" section in the history section. The article should tell you what the office is before it tells you anything else. It is not necessarily a bad idea to have a section called "Appointment", but mentioning general elections in the heading is unnecessary (and only the first word of the heading and proper nouns should be capitalised). The section on precedence and the like is less important than other sections, so it makes sense to keep it toward the end. -Rrius (talk) 20:50, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

New section needed[edit]

Salary and benefits. Kittybrewster 13:31, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Salary in the infobox?[edit]

Why is DC's salary int he infobox? It's not particularly important information, atleast not as far as the inforbox is concerned. Objections to removal? raseaCtalk to me 22:40, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Error in salary[edit]

There's an error in the sentence: "The Prime Minister's current salary is £142,500, in addition to a salary of £65,000 as a Member of Parliament." The Number Ten website makes it clear that his combined ministerial and parliamentary salary is £142,500.[3] This article in the Telegraph explains that the Prime Minister's remuneration was cut from £194,000 to £150,000 by Gordon Brown.[4] Cameron's 5% cut then takes it to £142,500.[5][6] --86.145.163.16 (talk) 23:56, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Substituting for a PM[edit]

As a foreigner who is interested in politics, but who is no expert, I would like to know -and I think it would be relevant for this article to explain- who takes over if the prime minister dies or is taken seriously ill while still in office, or resigns for personal rather than political reasons, and until a new prime minister is elected. That is, what happens when a PM who has not lost the confidence of the Commons cannot or will not govern any longer?

Also, I would like to know who effectively takes governmental decisions while the prime minister is abroad, or does s/he govern from wherever s/he is.

I hope these doubts are considered relevant to the scope of this article and someone can include the information. Thank you. Eduarodi (talk) 09:41, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

It's done more by custom and the circumstances of the day rather than a formal order of succession which makes it hard to describe succinctly. (There are various Cabinet "rankings" floating about but different lists have different orders. And most of these lists mainly concern things like official seating orders or determining which minister has to go to another's office for a meeting or even just ego & prestige.)
If the Prime Minister resigns or dies for whatever reason the monarch will appoint a new one. Who will get appointed will be the person the monarch considers the most appropriate in the circumstances with some consideration of precedence but also of the political situation of the day. If the Prime Minister's party is likely to have a protracted leadership election between multiple parties then the monarch will want to avoid giving a candidate an advantage and would likely instead appointed either an elder statesman or a coalition Deputy Prime Minister from a junior party, but on the understanding that as soon as the main party has elected a new leader they will become PM. Conversely a party might have a very quick procedure for picking a new leader or there may be one candidate who is clearly ahead of all others, so there would be no point in awaiting the formalities. The monarch will be advised by a number of sources and in particular will be advised if there's something that makes a particular person unsuitable, regardless of whatever formal position they may hold.
In terms of decisions when the PM is abroad, there's various procedures in place. When they're on official trips they'll usually stay in touch with the situation back home and make emergency decisions. When they're on holiday or otherwise out of the scene another senior minister will usually mind the shop but will rarely do anything of significance beyond formal duties.
None of this is easy to summarise because it's not done by statute and the personnel of the day play a key role in determining what actually happens. Timrollpickering (talk) 11:11, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
What was the last time a prime minister died in office? 1812? I guess Bonar Law is the most recent example of a situation where the PM resigned and the successor was not clear. In that case, the king just appointed who he wanted to, pretty much, since there were no leadership elections for the Conservative Party at the time. Most of the possible expedients you mention haven't ever actually happened - there has never been, so far as I'm aware, a true caretaker prime minister of that kind, with the sole exception of the Duke of Wellington in 1834, which was not the case Eduarodi was referring to. That happened when the prime minister (for the last time) simply dismissed Melbourne and appointed Wellington as a caretaker because Peel was out of the country. john k (talk) 16:50, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you both for the explanations and the examples. You see, as a resident in a republic I was looking for some sort of vice-presidential figure in the UK. I understand there haven't been many examples in British history where my scenarios have applied. But even in republics, most presidents don't die in office or resign. So, vice-presidents are there just in case they need to replace the president, and in the meantime they have other duties such as presiding over the Senate. Now I see in the UK it's quite different. Thanks again. Eduarodi (talk) 02:54, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

infobox "Term"[edit]

I have changed the Term in the infobox as it is not correct to say "While commanding the confidence of the House of Commons" as losing the confidence does not automatically mean a person stops being PM. This is exampled by James Callaghan losing a vote of no confidence in 1979 and remaining as PM for another 36 days. It is better to say "At Her Majesty's pleasure" since even a PM who wishes to resign must obtain Her Majesty's permission to do so. Codf1977 (talk) 13:49, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

This will not do. For one thing, "at Her Majesty's pleasure" is the term used for a life sentence passed on a juvenile defendant, and is indelibly linked with this concept by British people. For another, the monarch's power to dismiss a Prime Minister is by now entirely theoretical. Not since 1931 has the monarch actually played any role in deciding what government is formed. I think the previous formulation, "while commanding the confidence of the House of Commons", is far better. In the case above noted, Callaghan remained temporary Prime Minister while he attempted to regain the confidence of a newly elected House of Commons; if you read Tony Benn's diaries you will see that after the vote of no confidence was carried, the Government had to obtain the agreement of the Opposition on key decisions and others were held over until a new government was formed.
There were widespread hints during the 1980s that Her Majesty was not exactly the number one fan of Margaret Thatcher. As written the article might be taken as implying the Prime Minister had to be the Monarch's personal choice, which is not true. Sam Blacketer (talk) 15:22, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
You're arguing a strawman with this whole idea of a prison sentence; a PM does not serve indefinitely, and I challenge you to find any RS to make that claim stick. The other two ideas, either at HM's pleasure, or while maintaining the confidence of Parliament both are informative and correct; the fact that HM Elizabeth II is not known to have influenced the selection of a PM does not remove the absolute requirement that she formally appoint each one, and that she has the legal right to fire the current holder at any time. That this particular Queen won't do that doesn't mean her or her heirs lack that power, or will never exercise it. Courcelles 20:06, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't see anyone arguing that a PM serves indefinitely. What Sam Blacketer is arguing is that the PM serves "while commanding the confidence of the House of Commons", which is exactly correct. The Queen's theoretical right to appoint anyone she damn well pleases, and her theoretical right to sack the incumbent because she's having a bad hair day or whatever, are utterly circumscribed by a convention which is as binding as if it were a law set in concrete. To even remotely suggest she would ever act contrary to this convention - that's the straw man here. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:50, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
The word "term" simply isn't applicable. We should therefore either put "none", or "not applicable", or remove the option altogether. As has already been stated, "at her majesty's pleasure" is wrong in every way. ðarkuncoll 00:27, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
"While commanding the confidence of the House of Commons" is not "exactly correct". As has already been noted, the prime minister remains prime minister even after a vote of non-confidence in the lower chamber; a prime minister ceases to be prime minister when his commission is revoked by the Queen. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 13:17, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, so in other words, there is no "term", which implies a fixed limit. "At Her Majesty's Pleasure" is certainly wrong too, as that phrase, as has already been pointed out, is exclusively used for young offenders given a custodial sentence with no predefined length. ðarkuncoll 00:31, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────As has already been pointed out, no it isn't. It is also quite correctly used (along with the similar phrasing during her majesty's pleasure) to mean someone holding an office with no set limit for their duration of office e.g. "The First Minister shall be appointed by Her Majesty from among the members of the Parliament and shall hold office at Her Majesty’s pleasure." ([7]); "A person appointed as Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis shall hold office at Her Majesty’s pleasure." ([8]) or "There shall be a Governor-General of Saint Lucia who shall be a citizen appointed by Her Majesty and shall hold office during Her Majesty's pleasure and who shall be Her Majesty's representative in Saint Lucia." ([9]) On that basis, I'm reverting the change as lacking consensus. - Chrism would like to hear from you 09:03, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Agree reasonable phrasing --Snowded TALK 10:29, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Is there a source applying the phrase to the prime minister, rather than, say, the governor-general of Saint Lucia? If not, it's Synthesis. ðarkuncoll 14:59, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
It's not synthesis. It's the proper application of a term according to its definition; appointment by the Queen without set term limit = serving at the Queen's pleasure. --Ħ MIESIANIACAL 19:08, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be better just to say "Term: None" - since the word "term" means a fixed limit? ðarkuncoll 12:24, 3 March 2011 (UTC)
That would actually be reasonable. Sam Blacketer (talk) 15:56, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Political leader of the United Kingdom[edit]

The term "political leader of the United Kingdom" is not needed as it makes it sound like a one party state, and is not accurate as the prime minster is head of government and usually but not always leads the largest faction in the Commons, but there is also leader of the opposition and the opposition parties do not consider the prime minster to the their political leader. -- PBS (talk) 21:39, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

work[edit]

how can i become someone like the goverment who can hear what the average british man on the street is talking about and voice it to the people that can do something about it. or how can i be a member of parliment so i can stand up and make my thoughts heard? 188.29.20.161 (talk) 21:25, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Some absolute nonsense in this article[edit]

I'm quite shocked at how flowery this article has become, with assertions that simply are not true in fact.

For example "Parliament placed the Crown in "commission"..." - no it hasn't. The Crown is not in commission. That word should not be used to describe the dispersal of day-to-day political power to the various ministers and public bodies.

This article needs a serious clean-up, removing the flowery language and get it back to being a factual account of the office of Prime Minister. David (talk) 15:04, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Flowery is exactly the right word! The sing-song style and the undue weight on ceremonial aspects make it read more like a period novel than an encylopedia article. It's just hard to know where to start... Thom2002 (talk) 19:06, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Quite. I have extensive knowledge in constitutional law (from university) but am sometimes daunted at the stuff to sort out on many Wikipedia articles! For example, this article has far too much about general constitutional history and "discussion" which really belongs in Constitution of the United Kingdom et al. - this article should focus more on the office of Prime Minister. Now, of course the office is "at the centre of the web" of British politics and has a complex legal background and historical development, but there is no excuse for the waffle and - more seriously - the misleading or even wrong assertions such as this nonsense about the Crown being in commission! David (talk) 09:02, 9 April 2013 (UTC)

I have dealt with one particular paragraph that before my edits was awash with incorrect stuff and the "flowery language" mentioned above. There are however many more such paragraphs in this article. Why is no one dealing with this? 86.154.20.59 (talk) 16:29, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Done some more work. Was surprised that Minister for the Civil Service wasn't mentioned at all in this article. This is a pretty major aspect of where the Prime Minister derives his power from. If not appointed to this position, he wouldn't control the civil service. 86.154.20.59 (talk) 17:29, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks[edit]

This article on the office of PM is superb. I'm sure that it is correct; and it's well written, especially the opening summary from a historical perspective. Thanks to all involved. Suits my purpose very well indeed.Herbolzheim (talk) 23:21, 11 December 2013 (UTC)

Evidence?[edit]

"According to the now defunct Department for Constitutional Affairs, the Prime Minister is made a Privy Counsellor as a result of taking office and should be addressed by the official title prefixed by "The Right Honourable" and not by a personal name. "

Do we have a citation for this? Its complete nonsense (although the DCA was perfectly capable of such things!) Membership of the Privy council is a personal appointment and as such cannot be attached before an office. A style can be attached to an office but no warrant granting such a thing has ever existed for 'PM' or 'FLOT' Garlicplanting (talk) 10:59, 8 September 2014 (UTC)