Ministerial responsibility
Responsibility for what?
in Governing Britain
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This chapter examines the principle of ministerial responsibility, encompassing collective and individual responsibility. It draws out the mix of conventions and practices that comprise the doctrine, identifies the consequences for government, not least line management for government departments (individual responsibility) and a united front by government (collective responsibility), the means by which the doctrine is enforced, the extent to which individual responsibility has been misunderstood in terms of ministerial culpability, and the extent to which collective responsibility has been challenged in recent years by ministerial leaks and failure to vote loyally with the whips.

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