UK government, Boris Johnson, Queen Elizabeth II, cabinet, members of parliament, local government, head of state

UK Government structure

By Paul Hayward

​Having recently relocated to the UK, you may have some questions on the UK government. Here is a simple breakdown of the structure and their overarching responsibilities.

Quick facts:

Current Prime Minister: Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Current Secretary of State for Health and Social Care: Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP
Current political party: Conservative
General election: Held every four years
Voting age: 18+

Who is the Head of State?

The UK is a constitutional monarchy meaning that the head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. The government is formed in her name, although the reigning monarch cannot make any open political decisions.

The role of the Prime Minister

The government is led by the Prime Minister, who takes responsibility for all policies and decisions. He oversees the operation of the civil service/government agencies and appointments members of the government.

The Cabinet

Senior members of government form a ‘Cabinet’. They meet each week to discuss pressing matters. Generally, the Cabinet is formed from the various Secretary’s of State and other senior ministers.

The role of Members of Parliament (MPs)

MPs are democratically elected by UK constituents to represent their interests in Parliament. They can ask questions to the Prime Minister and other government ministers and debate issues. They can also ask the government to justify or explain decisions and policies.

Members of the public are entitled to contact their local MP if they have an issue or concern.

Local government

Although laws and legislation are made nationally, local government play an important role in making and carrying out decisions on behalf of local services.

County Councils are responsible for a variety of region-wide issues such as education, transport, social care and planning. Borough or City Councils are responsible for smaller issues such as rubbish collections, recycling, council tax and housing.

To find your next UK role, please contact Paul Hayward.