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Chapter 6 - The Constraints on the Prime Minister, 1721–2024

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2024

Anthony Seldon
Affiliation:
University of Buckingham
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Summary

The prime ministers all play chess on a multi-dimensional board, prey to challenges that vary in type and intensity over time, some of which are new and growing, and others constant. The most skilful negotiate their way through these constraints, turning them to their advantage, and refuse to be defined by adversities. The least able are swallowed up by them. We first consider institutional restraints, the checks and balances they face, some dating back to 1721, before considering variable constraints, which have made and destroyed premierships, and have rendered even the best-qualified incumbent a cornered animal.

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The Impossible Office?
The History of the British Prime Minister - Revised and Updated
, pp. 221 - 274
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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