Have Uk Prime Ministers Become More Presidential in Recent Years?

1008 words 5 pages
Have UK Prime Ministers become more Presidential in recent years?
In recent times many commentators have pointed out that the UK’s Prime Ministers are increasingly acting like Presidents- of course the UK Prime Minister cannot actually become a President as the system would not allow it. Below I shall be analysing and explaining the factors that highlight the growth of presidentialism in the UK, as well as the points which suggest that the UK’s Prime Minister is still a Prime Minister.
In recent years there has been an increase in the growth of spatial leadership. The tendency of Prime Ministers to distance themselves from their party and government has increased, developing a personal
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The Cabinet and Parliament merely became subordinate bodies during their time of rule. Blair’s decision to enter the Iraq War, without really consulting his Cabinet or Parliament and Thatcher’s role in the Falkland’s war, are examples of how recent Prime Ministers have set their own personal mandates and taken complete control of proceedings.
In recent times, the wider use of special, hand picked advisors and spin doctors have strengthened the cause of growing presidentialism in the UK. Blair relied heavily on his advisors and spin doctors- who were loyal to him rather the party. Brown is just about doing the same. If the British Prime Ministers are not going to use their Cabinets and treat them like a ‘sounding body’- they might as well be called Presidents.
In theory, the UK Prime Minister does not have a personal department, whilst the USA President does. However, in recent times the Cabinet Office has strengthened. The size and administrative resources available have grown, hence turning the Cabinet Office into a personal department for the Prime Minister’s use. This is another factor that supports the thesis of British Prime Ministers increasingly becoming more presidential.
Commentators such as Foley have suggested that UK Prime Ministers are increasingly beginning to resemble presidents, such as Wilson, Thatcher and Blair. To a large extent this view overlaps with the prime-ministerial government model, but both views do emphasize the growing dominance


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