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The UK Deputy Prime Minister

In 2010, a Deputy Prime Minister’s Office was created for Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg so that he could keep track of decisions across the Core Executive from the Liberal Democrat point of view.

It turned out, originally, to be quite inadequate in size with only four relatively junior advisers and was been expanded. Clegg was also responsible for the Constitution section in the Cabinet Office.

There has not always been a Deputy Prime Minister.

Clement Attlee was Deputy Prime Minister to Winston Churchill to give political balance to the wartime Coalition and Morrison and then Anthony Eden filled the role in the next two governments, but between 1955 and 1979 the post only existed for one year, for Butler.

Willie Whitelaw acted as Mrs Thatcher’s confidante in the role from 1979 to 1986, though he was also Home Secretary for the first part of the period.

Geoffrey Howe was given the post for a year as consolation being sacked as Foreign Secretary and Michael Heseltine had the post from 1995-7 and played a general co-ordinating role.

Tony Blair wanted to make John Prescott Deputy Prime Minister as he was Deputy Labour Party Leader and represented the traditional Labour Party but Prescott insisted on having a major Department to run as well. Clegg decided not to copy this which some people saw as a mistake.

On forming a majority government in 2015, David Cameron did not have a formal Deputy Prime Minister in the same capacity as Nick Clegg but Chancellor George Osborne was largely seen as the second in command. Prime Minister Theresa May did not have a formal Deputy Prime Minister.