The cabinet is a decision making body within the government. The cabinet come together to discuss important issues regarding the country. And although the members all hold different views they all have to agree on the decisions made during the meetings as policies are usually made during this time. The policies decided in the meetings then have to be supported by the House of Commons before being published.
Once policies are made known to the public, members of the cabinet are required to defend these policies in public and parliamentary debates and if they are unable to do so they may be asked to resign from their position.
The cabinet members are chosen by the Prime Minister and are usually elected members of parliament however that may not always be the case. They can have little to no knowledge about the position they are chosen for as they are aided by knowledgable special advisors. The cabinet members are all from one political party, at the moment, this is the Conservative party.
The Cabinet acts within the privy council, an organisation that dates back to the 13th century and contains over 600 members including cabinet ministers, former cabinet ministers, the Lords of Appeal and many more. The privy council act exclusively for the Queen and they usually only meet altogether when a monarch dies or marries.
There are currently 23 members in the cabinet and these are:
- Prime Minister (PM) – Theresa May is the current Prime Minister of the UK. She was appointed on July 13th 2016 and is the head of the government, responsible for policy and decisions of the government.
- Chancellor of the Exchequer – Phillip Hammond was appointed by the PM on the 13th July 2016. This role entails being responsible for raising revenue through taxation or borrowing and also controlling public spending.
- Home Secretary – Amber Rudd was also chosen by Theresa May on the 13th July 2016. Her duties include being responsible for terrorism and expenditure issues.
- Foreign Secretary – Boris Johnson is the current Foreign Secretary. The position requires the appointed to focus on the country’s intelligence policy and cyber-security, amongst other things.
- Defence Secretary – The current Defence Secretary is Michael Fallon. He is responsible for international partnerships with US, France and other countries. He is also responsible for nuclear operations.
- Justice Secretary – Elizabeth Truss was appointed Justice Secretary on the 14th July 2016 and is responsible for making improvements to the criminal justice and prison system.
- Education Secretary – The Education Secretary at the moment is Justine Greening. She is responsible for establishing academies and free schools, further education, higher education and much more.
- Brexit Secretary – David Davis is the responsible for leading the UK successfully out of the EU. He will be working on negotiations for the UK to leave the EU whilst still maintaining a good relationship and much more.
- International trade Secretary – Liam Fox is the International trade Secretary, responsible for developing trading policies for UK business to trade worldwide and much more.
- Business, energy & industrial strategy Secretary – Within this role, the Secretary must deal with the issue of climate change, making sure the UK leads in science, research and innovation and also ensuring the country has access to clean, reliable, affordable energy supplies. Greg Clark is the current Business, energy & industrial strategy secretary.
- Health Secretary – Jeremy Hunt has been Health Secretary since September 2012. He is in charge of health policy and things pertaining to the NHS such as finances.
- Work and Pensions Secretary – Damian Green is responsible for the administration of the state pension & working age benefits. This applies to people such employers and those of working age.
- Transport Secretary – The current Transport Secretary is Damian Green. He is responsible for the Department of Transport who deal with ensuring things like transport for business and people is at the best it can be.
- Communities and Local Government – Sajid Javid is responsible for things such as, making outstanding work places and also involving local people in the work being done in their area
- Leader of Commons – David Lidington was appointed as Leader of Commons on the 14th July 2016. He is responsible for planning and supervising government’s legislative programme. He also upholds the rights and interests of the other members in the house.
- Leader of Lords – Baroness Evans of Bowes Park is the current Leader of Lords and shares the collective feelings of the house on the behalf of the remaining members. She also assists the Lords and organises government business in the house.
- Scottish Secretary – The role of Scottish Secretary requires the person in charge to ensure Scotland is able to have their own government whilst also maintaining a relationship between the UK government and Scottish government. David Mundell is currently in this position.
- Welsh Secretary – Alun Cairns is the current Welsh Secretary. His job is to ensure that Welsh interests are fully represented in the UK government.
- Northern Ireland Secretary (NIS) – James Brokenshire, the NIS, is responsible for the Northern Ireland office and also expressing the views and interests of Northern Ireland to the cabinet.
- Environment Secretary – Andrea Leadsom, appointed on the 14th July 2016 is responsible for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Some of her responsibilities include dealing with international relations and emergencies.
- International development Secretary – Priti Patel leads the Department for International Development (DFID) team. DFID work on ending extreme poverty.
- Culture Secretary – The Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley is the head of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport whose main policies include tourism, museums and galleries and libraries.
- Chancellor of the Duchy Lancaster – Patrick McLoughlin deals with the estates and rents of Duchy of Lancaster. He is also the chairman for the Conservative party.
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