Flashcards in Cabinet Deck (7)
Arguments that the cabinet is still important
- No PM can survive without cabinet support, and in some circumstances Cabinets are able to exert a lot of influence e.g various resignations in May's cabinet over Brexit ultimately lead to her resignation.
- In some circumstances, the cabinet makes key decisions e.g whether to hold an election in 2017
- Some cabinet ministers are powerful in their own right e.g Chancellor of the Exchequer
Arguments that the cabinet is not important
- Some PM's rely less on their cabinet for policy advice, preferring to use special advisers e.g Tony Blair
- PM's control the workings of the cabinet by shaping the cabinet's agenda as well as chairing meetings
- The cabinet meets for less time now and tends to rubber stamp decisions made elsewhere
Examples of ministers resigning over collective responsibility
- David Davis resigning over disagreeing with the government's position on Brexit
- Baroness Warsi resigning from Cameron's government over policy on the escalation of violence in Israel
Example of a minister accepting legal individual ministerial responsibility and resigning
- Amber Rudd was forced to resign as home secretary in 2018 because she misled Parliament over the question of whether she knew about targets to remove illegal immigrants
Is collective responsibility still important?
- Gavin Williamson was sacked after he leaked information from a cabinet meeting which goes against collective responsibility.
- Theresa May then approved a full inquiry into the leak, the inquiry judged that Williamson was responsible and so sacked him, therefore suggesting the convention is valued enough to be enforced.
- However, the fact that Williamson felt like he could get away with the leak suggests ministers don't really regard collective responsibility and that the PM is too weak to enforce it.
Example of individual ministerial responsibility being undermined
- Under the coalition, IMR was reinterpreted for Vince Cable. Instead of being sacked or being forced to resign over comments that he had 'declared war' on Rupert Murdoch, instead he was stripped of certain responsibilities.