Government of the United Kingdom

The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as His Majesty's Government (or Her Majesty's Government when the reigning monarch is female),[note 1] is the central executive authority of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.[1][2] The government is led by the prime minister (currently Liz Truss, since 6 September 2022) who selects all the other ministers. The country has had a Conservative-led government since 2010, with successive prime ministers being the then leader of the Conservative Party. The prime minister and their most senior ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the Cabinet.[2]

His Majesty's Government
Welsh: Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig
Irish: Rialtas na Ríochta Aontaithe
Scots: Govrenment o the Unitit Kinrick
Established1707 (1707)
StateUnited Kingdom
LeaderPrime Minister (Liz Truss)
Appointed byMonarch of the United Kingdom (Charles III)
Main organCabinet of the United Kingdom
Ministries23 ministerial departments, 20 non-ministerial departments
Responsible toParliament of the United Kingdom
Annual budget£882 billion
Headquarters10 Downing Street, London

Ministers of the Crown are responsible to the House in which they sit; they make statements in that House and take questions from members of that House. For most senior ministers this is usually the elected House of Commons rather than the House of Lords. The government is dependent on Parliament to make primary legislation,[3] and general elections are held every five years (at most) to elect a new House of Commons, unless the prime minister advises the monarch to dissolve Parliament, in which case an election may be held sooner. After an election, the monarch selects as prime minister the leader of the party most likely to command the confidence of the House of Commons, usually by possessing a majority of MPs.[4]

Under the uncodified British constitution, executive authority lies with the sovereign, although this authority is exercised only after receiving the advice of the Privy Council.[5] The Prime minister, the House of Lords, the Leader of the Opposition, and the police and military high command serve as members and advisers of the monarch on the Privy Council. In most cases the cabinet exercise power directly as leaders of the government departments, though some Cabinet positions are sinecures to a greater or lesser degree (for instance Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster or Lord Privy Seal).

The government is sometimes referred to by the metonym "Westminster" or "Whitehall", due to that being where many of its offices are situated. These metonyms are used especially by members of the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive in order to differentiate their government from HMG.

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