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Leader of the House of Commons
Leader of the House of Commons

The Leader of the House of Commons is generally a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom who is responsible for arranging government business in 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 usual channels"), is responsible for organising government business and providing time for non-government (backbench) business to be put before the House. The Leader of the House additionally announces the next week's debate schedule in the Business Statement every Thursday.

Roles and honours


Until 1942, the position was usually held by the Prime Minister if he sat in the House of Commons; in more recent years, the post has been usually held jointly with that of Lord President of the Council or Lord Privy Seal.

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. However, since 2010 the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons has been a ministerial role at the level of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State.[1] Since 8 January 2018 the post of Deputy Leader of the House of Commons has been vacant following a ministerial reshuffle.[2]

The office is not appointed by the Monarch and does not attract a ministerial salary.[3][4] For this reason, it is usually held jointly with another ministerial position which is often a sinecure.

When there is either no Deputy Prime Minister or First Secretary of State, the Leader of the House may stand in for an absent Prime Minister at Prime Minister's Questions.

The Osmotherly Rules, which set out guidance on how civil servants should respond to parliamentary select committees, are jointly administered by the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons and the Cabinet Office.[5]

List of Leaders of the House of Commons (1721–present)


See also


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