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  • AQA Component The Prime Minister and Cabinet

  • Edexcel Component 2 (UK Government) 3.1.1: The power of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet

Click to read the article below and then answer the questions:

Liz Truss installs close allies in top cabinet jobs

See also this article on the way in which the appointment of a new Cabinet may affect the internal unity of the Conservative party:

The festering boil in Liz Truss’s government

Background: what you need to know

This article reviews the key appointments to the Cabinet made by the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss. The underlying theme is that she has favoured those who supported her in the recent Conservative leadership contest, rather than trying to include different strands of opinion within the party.

Ministers identified with the defeated candidate, Rishi Sunak, have been evicted to make way for Truss loyalists such as the new Health Secretary and Deputy PM, Thérèse Coffey. Apart from Sunak himself, the other leadership contenders have been given Cabinet positions. This makes political sense in terms of conciliating rivals at the top of the governing party. However, it is worth noting that most of these senior figures endorsed Truss after dropping out of the contest.

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • Explain and analyse three factors that a Prime Minister may consider in appointing members of the Cabinet. [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Evaluate the view that control of the Cabinet is the most important source of a Prime Minister’s power.

    In your answer you should draw on relevant knowledge and understanding of the study of Component 1: UK Politics and Core Political Ideas. You must consider this viewand the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: If you answer the Edexcel alternative, remember that although the PM’s relationship with the Cabinet is highlighted in the question, you need to balance this factor against other sources of prime ministerial power, such as the support of the parliamentary party and the PM’s ability (or inability) to react effectively to crises.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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