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The Prime Ministerial line of succession

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posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 05:36 AM
I know there is a presidential line of succession in the US but what about the UK? What would happen if Tony Blair was killed or was ill or was otherwise unfit to perform his duties, especially in a crisis? Who is in the line of succession and where?

posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 07:12 AM
There's no line of succession.

Even though there is technically a "deputy", s/he by no means has an automatic right to become PM if (for example) Blair died in office. Rather, the usual protocol would result; that being, another general election would take place and the winner would generally be appointed PM.

In an emergency, the deputy would usually assume the position on a temporary basis until the monarch appoints the next Prime Minister.

This page puts it far better than I ever could

posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 08:20 AM
Actually Tinkleflower that is not true.

The 'line of succession' (such quaint odd Royalist terminology for a democratic process!) is found in the proceedures that exist within the political party that the PM leads and is from and the method for selecting a new party leader that they have.

We have a parliamentary system in the UK, we elect a party to gov, despite the appearances we don't specifically elect a Prime Minsiter.

Look back to the time when British Prime Minister Harold Wilson voluntarily resigned and stepped down mid-term in the 1976.
or when PM Maggie Thatcher was actually ousted by the tory party she led in 1990

If the British PM resigned, died or was otherwise rendered incapable of performing the job the proceedure(s) would be entirely those of the political party in government (with a little of our patent Royal razzamatazz thrown in).
It would be for the political party to select a new leader, that new leader would then become (after the swift formality of a visit to Buch. house to see Queen or King) PM.

Whether or not the situation was such that the PM & party decided to go to the people in a new general election would be entirely a matter for them, but there is no requirement, they would not 'have to'.
(as happened with both Jim Callaghan - Harold Wilson's successor - or John Major - Maggie Thatcher's successor.
One might argue that not going to the people for electoral 'legitimacy' straight away didn't help either in the long run, but it's probably not that simple).

In the event that the parties were in coalition or so closely matched already as to be unable to agree the appointment of a new PM when the old one was 'lost' then the Monarch is supposed to ask the leader of the biggest party if they can form a new gov, if not there most likely would then be new elections.

In the direst national emergency it's technically possible that the Monarch might try and just appoint a new PM or, even more unlikely, be asked by Parliament to step in and appoint one but that is so enormously unlikely - I really can't think of it ever happening.

[edit on 21-9-2005 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 08:25 AM
You'd think as a Brit I'd know that.

Apparently I've lived in the US for far too long, and forgotten my basic history

posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 08:54 AM

Originally posted by Tinkleflower
I've lived in the US for far too long, and forgotten my basic history

- Oh no!
You've 'gone native' dude!

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