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Report Thread starter 5 years ago
Hi all!

Could someone please describe for me 'the Growth of Number 10", give some examples of it, and also (if possible!) tell me how this is evidence of the Prime Minister becoming more presidential?

Thanks in advance for your help!
Badges: 10
Report 5 years ago
Growth of Number 10
Let's start with Wilson as he was the first prime minister to really marginalize cabinet, but not to the same extent as Thatcher or Blair.

really the first prime minister to have and use political advisors, think tanks, the machinery of the government really

Thatcher: "spatial leadership"- being an outsider of government, Thatcher did this on purpose; very close to reagan; criticized her cabinet, ministers, civil servants (relates to presidentialism)
she reduced the frequency of cabinet and cabinet committee meetings
intervened a lot in departmental affairs
didn't discuss major policy decisions with cabinet (e.g. the banning of trade unions from GCHQ in 1984)
Nigel Lawson (chancellor) resigned in 1989 because Thatcher usually listened to Alan Walters (economic advisor)

Blair: (press conferences similar to the US's were more important than PM questions, which are a political theatre tbh, plus Blair spent less time in the Commons, furthermore abroad he developed a presidential style e.g. chairing the British presidency at the EU summit in 2005, etc)

reduced the length of cabinet meetings (now they are about 45 mins to one hour a week); can't possible get anything done in such a short time period

Basically now, cabinet is more of a legitimizing body than a policy making/developing body (however they do make policies in time of national emergency 2007-09, etc)
Cabinet rarely argues with the decisions of number 10, they just rubber stamp them because there's not enough time in the cabinet meetings

It's a bit messy but hopefully you get the idea lol

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