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  • AQA Component 1, Section The Prime Minister and Cabinet

  • Edexcel Component 2, Section 3.3.2: The Prime Minister and the Cabinet

Background: what you need to know

You can use the article as the basis of a ‘SWOT’ analysis of Rishi Sunak’s position, one year on from his appointment as Prime Minister. On the positive side, he restored stability and gave an impression of common sense pragmatism after the implosion of Liz Truss’s catastrophic ‘mini budget’. But this has not been enough to rescue the Conservative party from dire poll ratings.

In October the Conservatives lost two hitherto safe seats, Mid-Bedfordshire and Tamworth, in by-elections, and there is no sign that voters have been enthused by Sunak’s policy announcements at the autumn conference. The state of the economy gives little opportunity for tax cuts, and time is running out for Sunak to stage a convincing political recovery before the next general election.

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

Rishi Sunak faces intractable problems on first anniversary as prime minister

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • Explain and analyse three limitations on the power of the UK Prime Minister. [9 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Evaluate the argument that the power of the UK Prime Minister depends mainly on an ability to demonstrate governing competence.

    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 view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    TIP: Make sure that, in an examination answer on the UK PM, you can refer to several examples and not just to the incumbent. Other PMs who struggled in the run-up to general elections are John Major after Black Wednesday in September 1992 and Gordon Brown after the 2008-09 financial crisis.

Graham Goodlad, Portsmouth High School

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