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Specification:

  • AQA Component 1, section 3.1.1.3: The Prime Minister and Cabinet

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

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

How will Boris Johnson govern after his leadership challenge?

See also this article for interesting comparisons with other Prime Ministers who faced confidence motions from within their own party:

Boris Johnson may hobble on longer than we think

Background: what you need to know

This article reviews Boris Johnson’s position after he won the no confidence motion brought by opponents within the Conservative parliamentary party. Here is more material for a study of the power of the prime minister. On one hand, Johnson has survived for now and, unless the party changes its own rules, he is free from another challenge for another year. He also has a largely docile Cabinet, and no obvious alternative leadership figure has emerged.

On the other hand, the vote revealed large-scale discontent — 148 Conservative MPs, or 41 per cent of the parliamentary party, voted against him. Much depends now on Johnson’s willingness to conciliate his critics at a time when there is widespread unrest, not only over ‘partygate’ but also over the government’s failure so far to get a grip on the cost of living crisis. The author suggests that he is unlikely to make concessions to the rebels and may even use his power to reshuffle the government to punish those suspected of disloyalty.

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Evaluate the view that the most important factor influencing the power of the UK Prime Minister is control over their own political party.

    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]

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • Explain and analyse three ways in which the power of the UK Prime Minister is limited. [9 marks]

Graham Goodlad, St John’s College

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