University 18 Yrs + | The Core Executive
Other Sections of the UK's Core Executive
The Cabinet Office
The Cabinet Office has traditionally been the central co-ordinating body of the Cabinet System. It was set up by Lloyd George when he became Prime minister in 1916 in order to streamline the implementation of the decisions of the War Cabinet. Its role then developed during the 20th century into pushing Cabinet decisions down through the Whitehall machinery, pulling together issues that need to go up to Cabinet for decision, and generally sorting out problems caused by disagreements between Government Departments.
The Cabinet Secretary
The Cabinet Secretary was also the Head of the Civil Service and because of his central role in the system (there has not yet been a female cabinet secretary) was sometimes the most powerful person in the core executive after the Prime Minister. In 2011, the role was split up so that the Cabinet Secretary works more directly to the PM, a Permanent Secretary runs the Cabinet Office, which has taken on a bigger role in looking for cost cutting across government, and a separate Head of the Civil Service has a more clearly managerial role.
Permanent Representative to the European Union
A partly detached element of the Core Executive is the Permanent Representative to the European Union who leads Britain’s delegation in Brussels and keeps in touch with key people in all the EU institutions. He (there has not yet been a female Representative) meets weekly with the PM’s officials who deal with Europe in order to get the Government line. The PM and Ministers regularly meet with their Continental counterparts in the European Council and the Council of Ministers. This will clearly change once the UK exits the European Union.
The Government needs to get its legislation and other business through Parliament and a defeat on a motion of no confidence can bring down the Government. The Core Executive therefore has to keep in touch with its backbenchers and does this by three main means:-
a) The team of Government Whips work to prevent any rebellions but also to get the views of backbenchers about Government policy. The Chief Whip is a Cabinet Minister and meets regularly with the PM.
b) Each Cabinet Minister has a Member of Parliament who acts as his or her Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS). They are attached to the Minister’s Department, though they have no responsibility for running it, and their role is to find out what backbenchers think of the Minister’s performance and float new ideas that the Minister might have or potential changes in policy
There are meetings of backbenchers with the PM and, sometimes, Ministers. The Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs meet as a parliamentary party and the Conservative organise through the 1922 Committee. Both the meetings of Labour MPs and Conservative MPs can be fractious.