Leader of the House of Commons
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Leader of the
House of Commons
|Office of the Leader of the House|
|Style||The Right Honourable|
|Inaugural holder||Robert Walpole|
|Formation||4 April 1721|
The Leader of the House of Commons is generally a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons. However, the current incumbent, Andrea Leadsom, is not a member of the cabinet but does attend cabinet meetings. This office does not attract a ministerial salary, and as such it is usually held jointly with another ministerial position (often a sinecure). Historically, the position was usually held by the Prime Minister if they sat in the House of Commons; in more recent years, the post has been held jointly with that of Lord President of the Council, Lord Privy Seal, or First Secretary of State.
The Leader is assisted in the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons by the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons. 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. However, since 2010 the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons has been a ministerial role at the level of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.
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 Government business and providing time for non-government business to be put before the House. The Leader of the House additionally announces the next week's debate schedule in the Business Statement every Thursday.
The Osmotherly Rules, which set out guidance on how civil servants should respond to parliamentary select committees, are jointly administered by the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons and the Cabinet Office.
Leaders of the House of Commons since 1721
- 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
- Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975
- The first incumbent of the Deputy role was a Liberal Democrat MP, The Rt Hon. David Heath CBE, serving in the Coalition Government. "Parliamentary Secretary of State (Deputy Leader of the House of Commons)". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
- Gay, Oonagh (4 August 2005). "The Osmotherly Rules (Standard Note: SN/PC/2671)" (PDF). Parliament and Constitution Centre, House of Commons Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009.