Chancellor of the Exchequer
The chancellor of the Exchequer, often abbreviated to the chancellor, is the second highest high-ranking minister of the Crown within the Government of the United Kingdom after the prime minister, and head of Her Majesty's Treasury. As one of the four Great Offices of State, the chancellor is a high level member of the British Cabinet.
|Chancellor and Under-Treasurer|
of HM Exchequer
|Her Majesty's Treasury|
The Right Honourable
(UK and the Commonwealth)
|Status||Great Office of State|
National Security Council
|Reports to||The Prime Minister|
|Residence||11 Downing Street|
on advice of the Prime Minister
|Term length||At Her Majesty's pleasure|
|Formation||22 June 1316|
|First holder||Hervey de Stanton|
in the Kingdom of England only
|Deputy||Chief Secretary to the Treasury|
|Salary||£71,090 (excluding £81,932 salary as Member of Parliament (MP))|
Responsible for all economic and financial matters, the role is equivalent to that of a finance minister in other countries. The chancellor is now always Second Lord of the Treasury as one of at least six Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, responsible for executing the office of the Lord High Treasurer – the others are the Prime Minister and Commons government whips. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it was common for the prime minister also to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer if he sat in the Commons; the last chancellor who was simultaneously prime minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer was Stanley Baldwin in 1923. Formerly, in cases when the chancellorship was vacant, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench would act as chancellor pro tempore. The last Lord Chief Justice to serve in this way was Lord Denman in 1834.
The chancellor is the third-oldest major state office in English and British history, and in recent times has come to be the most powerful office in British politics after the prime minister. They originally carried responsibility for the Exchequer, the medieval English institution for the collection and auditing of royal revenues. The earliest surviving records which are the results of the exchequer's audit, date from 1129–30 under King Henry I and show continuity from previous years. The chancellor has oversight of fiscal policy, therefore of taxation and public spending across Government departments. It previously controlled monetary policy as well until 1997, when the Bank of England was granted independent control of its interest rates.