Sat. May 28th, 2022


This article, selected by a teacher with suggested questions, is part of the Financial Times Free School Access Program. Details / registration here.

Specification:

  • AQA Component 1, Section 3.1.1.3: The Prime Minister and Cabinet

  • Edexcel Component 2, Section 3.3.2: The Prime Minister and the Cabinet

Background: what you need to know

The Cabinet is a widely acclaimed actor in the UK’s executive, following decades of comments on the rise of so-called ‘prime ministerial government’ at the expense of collective decision-making. This article, on the other hand, provides a good example of the Cabinet claiming itself. It appears that a group of ministers led by Chancellor Rishi Sunak pushed back against an initiative by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, an ally of the Prime Minister. She announced the impending demise of the BBC license fee without proper cabinet discussion.

It should be remembered that Boris Johnson’s position as prime minister was weakened by the controversy over parties in Downing Street, which allegedly took place in violation of Covid-19 lock-in rules. As a result, he is embroiled in a desperate struggle to gain support in the Conservative Party.

Click to read the article below and then answer the questions:

Cabinet opposition forced to step down to end BBC license fee

Depending on the exam board you are following, answer one of the following questions.

Question in the style of AQA Politics Paper 1

  • “The importance of the Cabinet has diminished over the past few years.” Analyze and evaluate this statement.

    In your answer, you must use material from across the entire series of your study course in Politics. [25 marks]

Question in the style of Edexcel Politics Paper 2

  • Evaluate the argument that Cabinet retains significant power within the UK’s executive branch.

    In your answer you should make use of relevant knowledge and understanding of the study of Component 1: UK politics and political core ideas. You need to consider this view and the alternative to this view in a balanced way. [30 marks]

    CLUE: A possible component 1 topic is the role of the media. The article points out that the planned abolition of the BBC license fee was pursued in the press in an attempt to circumvent the cabinet discussion.

Graham Goodlad, St John’s College



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