Cabinet rank

A Cabinet rank refers to a ministerial position in Government of the United Kingdom, the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Officials in Cabinet are members of the highest decision-making body. They meet regularly and represent the departments in which they lead. Cabinet members advise the monarch as members of the Privy Council. The Ministerial ranking refers to both their line of succession and their ranking over one another.

DescriptionEdit

In the United Kingdom, the top three ministers after the Prime Minister are traditionally the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary. In that order, these four positions are referred to as the Great Offices of State, the most prestigious positions in government. However, the high prestige of these positions has not always run with Cabinet rank. In the modern political era Cabinet rank is decided by the Prime Minister, who releases a list detailing the seniority of all Cabinet ministers. Sometimes positions that one would not expect to be as high ranking as, say, the post of Foreign Secretary can in fact be placed higher than a Great Office of State. For example during the premiership of Gordon Brown, after a Cabinet reshuffle, Peter Mandelson, the Business Secretary, was ranked the 3rd most senior minister out of 23 and outranked all Great Officers of State except the Prime Minister himself.[citation needed] However on several occasions in recent history a First Secretary of State or Deputy Prime Minister has been appointed.

Just as traditionally lower Cabinet jobs can be placed high, traditionally higher positions can be placed low in the rankings such as when Bob Ainsworth (then Secretary of State for Defence) was ranked the 3rd lowest ranking minister in Gordon Brown's Cabinet.[citation needed]

After the 2010 UK election, ministerial rankings returned to a more traditional pattern, with the highest-ranking ministers being those holding the Great Offices of State and holding quite important posts, for example, the Secretary of State for Defence and the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Following the 2015 UK election, Prime Minister, David Cameron's Chancellor, George Osborne was appointed the title of First Secretary. It was speculated that Osborne was going to succeed Cameron as Prime Minister, but, due to the outcome of the Brexit referendum Osborne stated he was "not the person to provide the unity" his party needed.[1]

Following the 2017 United Kingdom general election, in which the number of Conservative MPs fell from 330 to 317, Theresa May appointed Damian Green as her de facto Deputy Prime Minister as First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office and with the ranking of second most senior Cabinet member; above the Chancellor. As a result of sexual misconduct allegations, Green resigned and was replaced by David Lidington as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, he also held the same position of seniority.

When Boris Johnson assumed the premiership, he appointed Dominic Raab as First Secretary of State.

Ministerial rankingEdit

The Cabinet ministers are ordered according to their ministerial ranking as follows.[2]

Rank Office Department Year established Notes
1 Prime Minister Cabinet Office 1721 Also known as First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service
2 Deputy Prime Minister (not always appointed) Cabinet Office 1942 A position that exists at the discretion of the Prime Minister
3 First Secretary of State (not always appointed) Cabinet Office 1962 An honorary title that bestows seniority over the other Secretaries of States, but carries no additional powers
4 Chancellor of the Exchequer HM Treasury 1316 One of the four Great Offices of State
5 Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1782 One of the four Great Offices of State
6 Secretary of State for the Home Department Home Office 1782 One of the four Great Offices of State
7 Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Cabinet Office 1997 / 1361
8 Secretary of State for Justice Ministry of Justice 2007
9 Secretary of State for Defence Ministry of Defence 1964
10 Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Department of Health and Social Care 1854
11 Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 1963
12 Secretary of State for International Trade Department for International Trade 2016 A position created following the 2016 European Union membership referendum
13 President of the Board of Trade UK Export Finance 1672 Also known as First Lord of Trade
14 Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Department for Work and Pensions 1916
15 Secretary of State for Education Department for Education and Skills 1992
16 Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2001
17 Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government 2006 Formerly known as Local Government Secretary
18 Secretary of State for Transport Department for Transport 1919
19 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Office 1972
20 Secretary of State for Scotland Scotland Office 1707 / 1926
21 Secretary of State for Wales Wales Office 1964
22 Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal Office of the Leader of the House of Lords 1717 / 1307 The only unelected position within the Cabinet
23 Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 1992
24 Secretary of State for International Development Department for International Development 1964
25 Minister without Portfolio Cabinet Office 1805 A position with no specific responsibilities and appointed at the discretion of the Prime Minister
26 Chief Secretary to the Treasury HM Treasury 1961
27 Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons Office of the Leader of the House of Commons 1530 / 1721
28 Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip HM Treasury 1660
29 Attorney General Attorney General's Office 1277
30 Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Department of Energy and Climate Change 2008 A revival of the former Secretary of State for Energy (1974–1992)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ {{citeweb|url=https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/28/george-osborne-will-not-contest-tory-leadership
  2. ^ "MPs and Lords". Her Majesty's Government.

See alsoEdit