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Monday, July 18, 2011

Leader of the House of Commons

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. 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 it has been combined instead with the office of Lord Privy Seal.
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 usual channels"), is responsible for organising the government business and providing time for non-government business to be put before the House, and announces the next week's schedule in the Business Statement each Thursday.
When there is no 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.

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.

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