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Prime Ministerin the constitutional law of the UK, the leading minister of the Crown. Technically, primus inter pares, or ‘first among equals’, the position grew very considerably in stature and power over the latter part of the 20th century, taking on an ever more presidential function and, in some hands, style. The tasks are to form a government and to preside over the cabinet. The Prime Minister holds the offices of First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. The power of appointment or concurrence in appointments is vast and increases the power of the office. The Prime Minister is chosen by the sovereign, a power that is rarely more than a formal selection of the leader of the opposition or the next most senior minister of the ruling party. The title Deputy Prime Minister has no official standing and does not fetter the ROYAL PREROGATIVE in selecting the new Prime Minister. See also TAOISEACH, FIRST MINISTER, FIRST SECRETARY.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006