Random Political Question

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Your_Mums_Pal, Mar 28, 2011.

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  1. Is a prime minister allowed to select any Member of Parliament for a job on the cabinet?

    For example - can a Labour PM select a Tory MP to be the Foreign Secretary? The guy is still an MP at the end of the day.

    Just a curious question.
  2. I'm pretty sure they can choose whichever member of either House they wish - hence various Peers serving in Cabinet as well as the 'Ministries of all the talents' malarkey.

    In fact, and I may be wrong, but a little voice in my head tells me that it's purely convention that the Cabinet be selected from the Houses* and that a PM can appoint anyone he likes.

    *That and to kill prostitutes.
  3. Yes, look at Labour, spent 13 years parachuting union and party faithful yes men into safe seats and the House of Lords and thence the Cabinet.
  4. The only time there is a Ministry of all the Talents is when there is a coalition of all parties, notably during wartime. The last one was in 1806. Brown did have a Government of all Talents but the appointees were junior ministers and not members of the cabinet. The cabinet is formed from the current governing party from both the Houses but not cross party.
  5. The so-called "ministry of All the Talents" was a specific government of national unity formed after the death of Pitt the Younger, who went to the grave babbling about veal and ham pies. The expression has ever since been used to describe multi-party governments or "National governments" so in fact the eponymous MOATT of 1806 was not the last one. The last national unity government was of course that during the Second World War, led by Churchill and featuring several independent candidates as well as Tories and Labourites. Anderson - of shelter fame - was one of the independents as was Richard Casey (later GG of Australia). anderson was chancellor from 1943-45 and was also known as "the Home Front prime minister".
  6. You are correct. The PM can appoint anybody to the cabinet. In 1964 Frank Cousins, then leader of the transport workers' union, became Minister for Technology in Harold Wilson's government.