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Structure of UK Government Cheat Sheet by

Understanding the roles and responsibilities of different levels of government.

Political Systems

Refers to the system in which citizens have the right to take part in the decision making process
Citizens have the right to take part int he decisi­on-­making process, but has a president as their leader, not a monarch
A system of government in which a country is ruled by a king and queen whose power is limited by a consti­tution
A political and economic system that seeks to create a classless society in which the major means of production are owned and controlled by the public


Head of State
Role Model
Head of Common­wealth
Political Neutrality
Author­ising legisl­ation through Royal Assent
Consti­tut­ional Duties
Advising PM, Government Officials
Repres­ent­ational Duties

House of Commons

Elected house
Represent the people
Repres­enting indivi­duals and commun­ities
Made up of elected repres­ent­atives from consti­tue­ncies
Examining & challe­nging the work of the government
Enabling debate & discussion
Repres­ent­atives are drawn from parties that have been elected
Debating and passing all laws
Political Neutrality
Enabling the government to manage public finances through taxation
Voting on legisl­ation

Instit­utions of State

Executive - govern­ment, the PM, Cabinet and other ministers (to develop policies and propose legisl­ation)
Legisl­ature - Parlia­ment, members of the House of Commons and Lords (to debate proposed legisl­ation and enact laws)
Judiciary - judges (interpret and apply legisl­ation in line with the intention of Parliament as well as developing common law

Parlia­mentary Privilege

Freedom of speech and debate

Northern Ireland Assembly

Roles and Respon­sib­ilities
Currently has 90 members
Repres­enting Northern Ireland and its people
First Minister who is elected by all members
Making legisl­ation
18 consti­tue­ncies in Northern Ireland
Scruti­nising the executive committee

Structural Diagram

Local Government

Represent residents in local areas
Work with a range of partners to determine and deliver services
Deliver essential services
County councils, district councils, unitary author­ities
London Boroughs, Greater London Authority, Metrop­olitan Districts

The Executive

Roles and Respon­sib­ility
Cabinet - setting the strategic direction of the country, and putting policies in place that are then implem­ented by the protective services
Government Ministers - holding public office & enabling policies set to be implem­ented by the depart­ments
Civil Servants - ensuring the daily running of depart­ments, implem­enting the policies set by the government
Government Depart­ments
Ministry of Defence (armed services)
Home Office (police, national crime agency, UK visas and immigr­ation)
Ministry of Justice (Prison Service, Probation Service)
Department for Commun­ities and Local Government (Fire & Rescue Services)
Department of Health (Ambulance and NHS)

House of Commons

House of Lords

Not an elected body, but has appointed repres­ent­atives
Make laws
Remaining indepe­ndent from the work of Commons
Hereditary peers, life peers, senior bishops
Check & challenge the actions of the government and provide a forum of indepe­ndent expertise
Checking bills to ensure that laws are fit for purpose
Provide advice and guidance to Commons, government and other public bodies
Repres­ent­ation of committees invest­igating public policy

Separation of Powers

Separation of powers is in place to ensure that the major instit­utions of state are indepe­ndent of each other so no individual should have power that spans all offices

Scottish Parliament

Roles and Respon­sib­ility
Implem­enting laws and policy on matters that affect Scotland (health, education, enviro­nment, agricu­lture, housing)
Self-c­ont­ained meaning it doesn't need author­isation from UK Parliament
Allocation of the Scottish budget
Currently made up of around 129 members
To pass laws (doesn't need author­isation from UK Parliament due to indepe­ndence)
The party with the most votes forms the govern­ment.

Welsh Parliament

**Roles and Respon­sib­ilities
Around 60 members
Repres­enting Wales and its people
40 = elected consti­tuency members
Making laws for Wales
20 = elected on a regional basis
Agreeing Welsh Taxes
First Minister who is elected by the whole executive
Holding the Welsh Government to account

Reserved Powers

The UK Parliament has reserved powers which means it still has jurisd­iction on matters that affect the UK as a whole or have an intern­ational impact
Those which stay with Parliament in Westmi­nster


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