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Leader of the House of Commons

 

Leader of the House of Commons

United Kingdom
Leader of the
House of Commons
Incumbent
Chris Grayling

since 9 May 2015
Office of the Leader of the House
Style The Right Honourable
Inaugural holder Robert Walpole
Formation 4 April 1721
Website /the-office-of-the-leader-of-the-house-of-commons/organisations/government.uk.govwww

The Leader of the House of Commons is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in the House of Commons. Because this office does not attract a ministerial salary,[1] it is usually held jointly with another ministerial position (often a sinecure). Although at one time the position was usually held by the Prime Minister, in recent years, the post has usually been combined with that of Lord President of the Council (i.e., of the Privy Council); from 2003 to 2014 it had been combined with the office of Lord Privy Seal; from 2014-2015 it was combined with honorific political office of First Secretary of State. The Leader of the House of Commons is assisted by the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, both of whom are assigned as ministers in the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons.

The House of Commons devotes approximately three quarters of its time to Government business, such as bills introduced by the government and ministerial statements. The Leader of the House, with the parties' chief whips ("the Deputy Prime Minister, or the Deputy Prime Minister is unavailable, the Leader of the House may stand in for an absent Prime Minister at Prime Minister's Questions.

Jointly administered by the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons and the Cabinet Office are the Osmotherly Rules, which set out guidance on how civil servants should respond to parliamentary select committees.[2]

Contents

  • Leaders of the House of Commons since 1721 1
    • 18th century 1.1
    • 19th century 1.2
    • Edwardian and wartime 1.3
    • Post-War 1.4
    • 21st century 1.5
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Leaders of the House of Commons since 1721

At times the nominal leadership was held by the Prime Minister but the day-to-day work was done by a Deputy. At other times a Deputy was appointed merely to enhance an individual politician's standing within the government.

18th century

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Tenure Political Party Prime Minister
Robert Walpole Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer
4 April 1721 – 6 February 1742 Whig Himself
Samuel Sandys Chancellor of the Exchequer 12 February 1742 – 27 August 1743 Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington
Henry Pelham Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer
27 August 1743 – 6 March 1754 Himself
Thomas Robinson Southern Secretary 23 March 1754 – October 1755 Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle
Henry Fox 14 November 1755 – 13 November 1756
William Pitt the Elder 4 December 1756 – 6 April 1757 William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
vacant April – June 1757 William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire
(Caretaker)
William Pitt the Elder Southern Secretary 27 June 1757 – 6 October 1761 Whig Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle
George Grenville Treasurer of the Navy October 1761 – May 1762 Grenvillite Whig
Henry Fox Paymaster of the Forces May 1762 – April 1763 Whig John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute
George Grenville Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer
16 April 1763 – 13 July 1765 Grenvillite Whig Himself
Henry Seymour Conway Southern Secretary (until May 1766)
Northern Secretary (from May 1766)
July 1765 – 20 October 1768 Rockinghamite Whig Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham (until July 1766)
William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham (from July 1766)
Frederick Lord North Chancellor of the Exchequer
Prime Minister (from 28 January 1770)
October 1768 – 22 March 1782 Tory Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton
Himself
Charles James Fox Foreign Secretary 27 March 1782 – July 1782 Whig Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham
Thomas Townshend Home Secretary 10 July 1782 – 6 March 1783 William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne
Charles James Fox Foreign Secretary jointly:
2 April 1783 – 19 December 1783
Fox-North Coalition William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland (figurehead)
Frederick Lord North Home Secretary
William Pitt the Younger Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer
19 December 1783 – 14 March 1801 Pittite Tory Himself

19th century

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Tenure Political Party Prime Minister
Henry Addington Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer
17 March 1801 – 10 May 1804 Pittite Tory Himself
William Pitt the Younger Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer
10 May 1804 – 23 January 1806 (died) Himself
Charles James Fox Foreign Secretary February – 13 September 1806 (died) Whig
(Ministry of All the Talents)
William Grenville
Charles Grey, Viscount Howick Foreign Secretary September 1806 – 31 March 1807
Spencer Perceval Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Prime Minister (from October 1809)
April 1807 – 11 May 1812 (died) Tory William Cavendish-Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
Himself
Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh (inherited as 2nd Marquess of Londonderry in 1821) Foreign Secretary June 1812 – 12 August 1822 (died) Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
George Canning Foreign Secretary (until April 1827) 16 September 1822 – 8 August 1827 (died) Canningite Tory
Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer (both from April 1827)
Himself
William Huskisson War & Colonial Secretary 3 September 1827 – 21 January 1828 F. J. Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich
Robert Peel Home Secretary 26 January 1828 – 16 November 1830 Tory Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
John Spencer, Viscount Althorp Chancellor of the Exchequer 22 November 1830 – 14 November 1834 Whig Charles Grey
William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
Robert Peel Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer
10 December 1834 – 8 April 1835 Conservative Himself
John Russell Home Secretary (until August 1839)
War & Colonial Secretary (from 30 August 1839)
18 April 1835 – 30 August 1841 Whig William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne
Robert Peel Prime Minister 30 August 1841 – 29 June 1846 Conservative Himself
John Russell Prime Minister 30 June 1846 – 21 February 1852 Whig Himself
Benjamin Disraeli Chancellor of the Exchequer 27 February – 17 December 1852 Conservative Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby
John Russell Foreign Secretary (until February 1853)
Minister without Portfolio (February 1853–June 1854)
Lord President of the Council (from June 1854)
28 December 1852 – 30 January 1855 Whig
(Coalition)
4th Earl of Aberdeen
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston Prime Minister 6 February 1855 – 19 February 1858 Whig Himself
Benjamin Disraeli Chancellor of the Exchequer 26 February 1858 – 11 June 1859 Conservative Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston Prime Minister 12 June 1859 – 18 October 1865 (died) Liberal Himself
William Ewart Gladstone Chancellor of the Exchequer October 1865 – 26 June 1866 John Russell
Benjamin Disraeli Chancellor of the Exchequer (until February 1868) 6 July 1866 – 1 December 1868 Conservative Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby
Prime Minister (from February 1868) Himself
William Ewart Gladstone Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer (from August 1873)
3 December 1868 – 17 February 1874 Liberal Himself
Benjamin Disraeli Prime Minister 20 February 1874 – 21 August 1876 Conservative Himself
Stafford Northcote Chancellor of the Exchequer 21 August 1876 – 21 April 1880 Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
William Ewart Gladstone Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer (until December 1882)
23 April 1880 – 9 June 1885 Liberal Himself
Michael Hicks-Beach Chancellor of the Exchequer 24 June 1885 – 28 January 1886 Conservative Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
William Ewart Gladstone Prime Minister
Lord Privy Seal
1 February – 2 July 1886 Liberal Himself
Randolph Churchill Chancellor of the Exchequer 3 August 1886 – 14 January 1887 Conservative Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
W. H. Smith First Lord of the Treasury 17 January 1887 – October 1891
Arthur Balfour First Lord of the Treasury October 1891 – 11 August 1892
William Ewart Gladstone Prime Minister
Lord Privy Seal
15 August 1892 – 2 March 1894 Liberal Himself
William Vernon Harcourt Chancellor of the Exchequer 2 March 1894 – 21 June 1895 Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery
Arthur Balfour First Lord of the Treasury
Prime Minister (from 12 July 1902)
Lord Privy Seal (14 July 1902–17 October 1903)
29 June 1895 – 4 December 1905 Conservative Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury
Himself

Edwardian and wartime

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Tenure Political Party Prime Minister
Henry Campbell-Bannerman Prime Minister 5 December 1905 – 5 April 1908 Liberal Himself
H. H. Asquith Prime Minister
War Secretary (30 March – 5 August 1914)
5 April 1908 – 5 December 1916 Liberal
(Wartime coalition 1915–1916)
Himself
Bonar Law Chancellor of the Exchequer (until 10 January 1919)
Lord Privy Seal (from 10 January 1919)
10 December 1916 – 23 March 1921 Conservative
(Coalition)
David Lloyd George
Austen Chamberlain Lord Privy Seal 23 March 1921 – 19 October 1922
Bonar Law Prime Minister 23 October 1922 – 20 May 1923 Conservative Himself
Stanley Baldwin Prime Minister
Chancellor of the Exchequer (until August 1923)
22 May 1923 – 22 January 1924 Himself
Ramsay MacDonald Prime Minister
Foreign Secretary
22 January – 3 November 1924 Labour Himself
Stanley Baldwin Prime Minister 4 November 1924 – 4 June 1929 Conservative Himself
Ramsay MacDonald 5 June 1929 – 7 June 1935 Labour Himself
National Labour
(National Govt 1931–1935)
Stanley Baldwin 7 June 1935 – 28 May 1937 Conservative
(National Govt 1935–1937)
Himself
Neville Chamberlain 28 May 1937 – 10 May 1940 Conservative
(National Govt 1937–1939;
War Govt 1939–1940)
Himself
Winston Churchill Prime Minister
Minister of Defence
10 May 1940 – 19 February 1942 Conservative
(Wartime coalition)
Winston Churchill
Stafford Cripps Lord Privy Seal 19 February – 22 November 1942 Independent
(Wartime coalition)
Anthony Eden Foreign Secretary 22 February 1942 – 26 July 1945 Conservative
(Wartime coalition)
Conservative
(Caretaker coalition)

Post-War

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Tenure Political Party Prime Minister
Herbert Morrison Lord President of the Council 27 July 1945 – 9 March 1951 Labour Clement Attlee
James Chuter Ede Home Secretary 9 March 1951 – 26 October 1951
Harry Crookshank Minister of Health (until May 1952)
Lord Privy Seal (from 7 May 1952)
28 October 1951 – 20 December 1955 Conservative Winston Churchill
Anthony Eden
Rab Butler Lord Privy Seal (until October 1959)
Home Secretary (from 14 January 1957)
20 December 1955 – 9 October 1961
Home Secretary Harold Macmillan
Iain Macleod Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 9 October 1961 – 20 October 1963
Selwyn Lloyd Lord Privy Seal 20 October 1963 – 16 October 1964 Alec Douglas-Home
Herbert Bowden Lord President of the Council 16 October 1964 – 11 August 1966 Labour Harold Wilson
Richard Crossman 11 August 1966 – 18 October 1968
Fred Peart 18 October 1968 – 19 June 1970
Willie Whitelaw 20 June 1970 – 7 April 1972 Conservative Edward Heath
Robert Carr 7 April 1972 – 5 November 1972
Jim Prior 5 November 1972 – 4 March 1974
Edward Short 5 March 1974 – 8 April 1976 Labour Harold Wilson
Michael Foot 8 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 James Callaghan
Norman St John-Stevas Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
Minister for the Arts
5 May 1979 – 5 January 1981 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Francis Pym Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (until September 1981)
Lord President of the Council (from 14 September 1981)
5 January 1981 – 5 April 1982
John Biffen Lord President of the Council (until June 1983)
Lord Privy Seal (from 11 June 1983)
5 April 1982 – 13 June 1987
John Wakeham Lord Privy Seal (until January 1988)
Lord President of the Council (from 10 January 1988)
13 June 1987 – 24 July 1989
Geoffrey Howe Lord President of the Council
Deputy Prime Minister
24 July 1989 – 2 November 1990
John MacGregor Lord President of the Council 2 November 1990 – 10 April 1992
John Major
Tony Newton 10 April 1992 – 1 May 1997
Ann Taylor 2 May 1997 – 27 July 1998 Labour Tony Blair
Margaret Beckett 27 July 1998 – 8 June 2001

21st century

Name Portrait Concurrent office(s) Tenure Political party Prime Minister
Robin Cook Lord President of the Council 8 June 2001 – 17 March 2003 Labour Tony Blair
John Reid 4 April 2003 – 13 June 2003
Peter Hain Lord Privy Seal 11 June 2003 – 6 May 2005
Geoff Hoon 6 May 2005 – 5 May 2006
Jack Straw 5 May 2006 – 27 June 2007
Harriet Harman Lord Privy Seal
Minister for Women and Equality
28 June 2007 – 11 May 2010 Gordon Brown
George Young Lord Privy Seal 12 May 2010 – 3 September 2012 Conservative
(Coalition)
David Cameron
Andrew Lansley 4 September 2012 – 14 July 2014
William Hague First Secretary of State 14 July 2014 – 8 May 2015
Chris Grayling Lord President of the Council 9 May 2015 – present Conservative

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1975/27
  2. ^ Gay, Oonagh (4 August 2005). "The Osmotherly Rules (Standard Note: SN/PC/2671)" (PDF).  

External links

  • Official website
  • Parliamentary website
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