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The Prime Minister
Constitutionally the Head of State is the monarch who is a hereditary member of the Royal Family. However, the monarch has very few formal powers and stays above party politics.
So, in practice, the most important person in the British political system is the Prime Minister*. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Monarch and he (she) is always the leader of the party that received the majority of votes at the general election. The Prime Minister chooses the ministers who run Government departments and chairs the Cabinet – the collection of the most senior of those Ministers. The Prime Minister is, by tradition, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. The PM’s unique position of authority derives from majority support in the HC and from the power to appoint and dismiss ministers. By modern convention, the Prime Minister always sits in the House of Commons.
The PM presides over the Cabinet, is responsible for the allocation of functions among ministers and informs the Queen at regular meetings of the general business of the Government. The Prime Minister’s other responsibilities include recommending a number of appointments to the Queen. These include:
1) Church of England archbishops, bishops and deans and other Church appointments;
2) senior judges, such as the Lord Chief Justice;
3) Privy Counselors;