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Deputy Prime Minister - Role and responsibilities

DPM folder; Crown copyright

The Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) is the deputy head of Government and has special responsibility for political and constitutional reform. He is also Lord President of the Privy Council.

The DPM takes a full overview of the business of government and maintains a range of strategic interests across government policy. In close cooperation with the Prime Minister, he is responsible for the policy and decisions of the Government as a whole and is as a result consulted in any decision involving the Prime Minister. As co-chair of the Coalition Committee, the DPM is jointly responsible for the functioning of the coalition and the implementation of the Programme for Government

The DPM has significant responsibilities in other key Cabinet Sub-Committees, notably chairing the Home Affairs Committee which coordinates domestic policy issues including those relating to constitutional and political reform, migration, health, schools and welfare. 

The DPM has an important foreign policy role, with responsibility for building a range of strategic relationships in Europe and across the world and for championing the Government’s commitment to the Millennium Development Goals. He is also Deputy Chair of the National Security Council which oversees all aspects of the nation’s security.

The DPM is leading the Government’s programme to bring about comprehensive renewal of our political system. This will include legislation to:

  • introduce fixed term Parliaments
  • hold a referendum on the Alternative Vote system for elections to the House of Commons
  • create fewer and more equal sized parliamentary constituencies
  • introduce a power for people to recall their MP
  • speed up implementation of individual voter registration
  • reform party funding
  • introduce a statutory register of lobbyists 
  • to help people with disabilities to become MPs. 

The DPM will lead the Government’s consideration of devolution matters and the development of proposals for a wholly or mainly elected House of Lords. 

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