Appendix B: Prime Minister (Office, Role
and Functions) Bill |
Define the office, role and functions of the Prime
Minister and First Lord of the Treasury; to make arrangements
for his appointment; and for connected purposes.
Whereas those functions and responsibilities and
powers of the office of Prime Minister have never been defined
And whereas those functions and responsibilities
and powers have vastly expanded since the office was first established;
And whereas in the absence of such definition the
democratic accountability of the Prime Minister to the House of
Commons, and to the people of the United Kingdom requires clarification;
And whereas it is expedient to distinguish in statute
the executive functions of government from the legislative functions
And whereas the use of Royal Prerogative powers is
based on convention and has no basis in statute law;
Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty,
by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and
by the authority of the same, as follows:
1 Appointment of the Prime Minister and First
Lord of the Treasury
(1) The Prime Minister and First Lord of the
Treasury shall be appointed by Her Majesty, provided that such
an appointment must be proposed by the resolution of the House
of Commons within 7 days of a general election, or of the death
or resignation of a serving Prime Minister.
(2) Except in the case of a vacancy caused by
the death or resignation of a serving Prime Minister, Her Majesty
shall appoint as Prime Minister only a person who has been declared
to be a candidate for that office at the General Election immediately
preceding the appointment.
2 Term of office of the Prime Minister
(1) The Prime Minister shall hold office until
the appointment by Her Majesty of a successor.
(2) The Prime Minister shall resign his office
if the House of Commons resolves that he no longer enjoys its
3 Functions of the Prime Minister
Except in respect of matter which are the exclusive
responsibility of the European Union or any devolved Parliament
or Executive within the United Kingdom the Prime Minister shall
be accountable to Parliament for the following functions:
(a) to determine the policies of the United
(b) to communicate the policies of the United
(c) to execute the policies of the United Kingdom
(d) to decide which measures represent the legislative
programme of the United Kingdom government;
(e) to decide on the level and application of
taxation within the United Kingdom and the objects of public spending;
(f) to recommend appointments to honours, other
than those in the gift of Her Majesty or life peerages given to
persons other than members of the Prime Minister's political party;
(g) to appoint the ministers of the United Kingdom
government and determine their responsibilities, provided that
for each Department of State he shall appoint as a minister at
least one member of each House of Parliament;
(h) to decide, having first obtained the approval
of the House of Commons, whether to declare war or commit the
United Kingdom armed forces to armed conflict and, if they are
so committed, to determine their strategy and objectives;
(i) to decide whether to declare a state of
(j) to appoint the permanent heads of government
departments, the members of the Defence Staff, and the heads of
the security services.
4 Power to delegate
The Prime Minister may delegate any of the functions
referred to in section 3 (a) to (f) above, provided that any such
delegation is communicated to the House of Commons at the time
it is made, and any action preformed or statement made by any
person under powers delegated under this section shall be treated
as if it were performed or made by the Prime Minister or by ministers
acting under his authority.
5 Power of appointment
To assist him in
the performance of any of the functions referred to in section
3 above the Prime Minister may
(a) appoint a Prime Minister's Department without
limit as to its size or membership, which shall be paid for out
of money provided by Parliament;
(b) appoint any non-departmental public body
without limit as to its size or membership, which shall be paid
for out of money paid for by Parliament;
(c) appoint any person whomsoever to the public
service, who shall be paid for out of money provided by Parliament.
6 Use of Crown prerogative powers
(1) In the discharge of any of the functions
referred to in section 3 of this Act the Prime Minister may advise
Her Majesty to use any power or issue any command within the prerogative
of the Crown.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection
(1), the Prime Minister in the discharge of any of the functions
referred to in section 3 above, shall with the consent of Her
Majesty have responsibility for any execution of the powers under
the Royal Prerogative which are listed in Schedule 1.
(3) No immunity attached to the Crown shall attach
to the Prime Minister in the use of any power under this section.
(4) Any use of any power under this section shall
be reported to the House of Commons within seven days, subject
to any restrictions which the Speaker may agree as necessary to
protect national security, or in the administration of justice
or the prevention and detection of serious crime.
7 Powers of Secretaries of State
For the avoidance
of doubt, any power under statue which may be exercised by a Secretary
of State may be exercised by the Prime Minister.
8 Duty to behave lawfully
Nothing in this Act
shall empower the Prime Minister, or any person acting under his
authority, to disregard any provision of the Human Rights Act
1998, or any obligation under international law or treaty, under
common law or equity or any other obligation to behave justly,
fairly, reasonably and lawfully, or any published rules for the
time being in force for ministers and civil servants in the conduct
of public life, or to act in contempt of any resolution of the
House of Commons.
9 Duty to account to Parliament
The Prime Minister,
ministers of the Crown and other persons acting under his authority,
shall be under a duty to account to each House of Parliament in
such ways as each House may prescribe.
10 Public policy
For the avoidance
of doubt, in any matter which is not the exclusive responsibility
of the European Union or a devolved Parliament or Executive within
the UnitedKingdom, a statement by or on behalf of the Prime Minister
shall be regarded as a definitive statement of the public policy
of the United Kingdom.
There shall be paid
out of money provided by Parliament any expenses of the Prime
Minister under this Act.
12 Short title
This Act may be cited
as the Prime Minister (Office, Role and Functions) Act.
ROYAL PREROGATIVE POWERS EXERCISABLE ON THE
AUTHORITY OF THE PRIME MINISTER IN PURSUANCE OF SECTION 6(2) OF
1 To make Orders in Council.
2 To declare war or commit United Kingdom forces
to armed conflict, but only after the House of Commons has given
3 To issue lawful command to the armed forces.
4 To require persons to perform military service
or other service to the state in times of armed conflict or emergency.
5 To sign or ratify treaties.
6 To recognise foreign governments.
7 To appoint ambassadors, permanent secretaries
of departments, the heads of the security services, members of
the Defence Staff, Royal Commissions and members of public bodies.
8 To declare a state of emergency.
9 To order the confiscation, forfeiture or seizure
of property and assets.
10 To issue pardons and detail felons or the
insane during pleasure.
11 To institute or quash legal proceedings.
12 To assert Crown immunity in any legal proceedings
and to grant public interest immunity certificates.
13 Powers in relation to intestacy, the failure
of charitable trusts, treasure trove, mineral rights, wrecks,
sturgeon, swans, whales, territorial waters and the ownership
of the foreshore of the United Kingdom.