Chancellor of the Exchequer
Responsible for all economic and financial matters, the role is equivalent to that of a finance minister
in other countries. The chancellor is now always Second Lord of the Treasury
as one of at least six Lords Commissioners of the Treasury
, responsible for executing the office of the Lord High Treasurer
– the others are the Prime Minister and Commons government whips. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it was common for the prime minister also to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer if he sat in the Commons; the last chancellor who was simultaneously prime minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer was Stanley Baldwin
in 1923. Formerly, in cases when the chancellorship was vacant, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench
would act as chancellor pro tempore
The last Lord Chief Justice to serve in this way was Lord Denman
The chancellor is the third-oldest major state office in English
history, and in recent times has come to be the most powerful office in British politics after the prime minister
. They originally carried responsibility for the Exchequer
, the medieval English institution for the collection and auditing of royal revenues. The earliest surviving records
which are the results of the exchequer's audit, date from 1129–30 under King Henry I
and show continuity from previous years.
The chancellor has oversight of fiscal policy
, therefore of taxation
and public spending
departments. It previously controlled monetary policy
as well until 1997, when the Bank of England
was granted independent control of its interest rates.
Second Lord of the Treasury
Since 1827, the chancellor has always simultaneously held the office of Second Lord of the Treasury when that person has not also been the prime minister.
Roles and responsibilities
A previous chancellor, Robert Lowe
, described the office in the following terms in the House of Commons, on 11 April 1870: "The Chancellor of the Exchequer is a man whose duties make him more or less of a taxing machine. He is entrusted with a certain amount of misery which it is his duty to distribute as fairly as he can."
The chancellor has considerable control over other departments as it is the Treasury which sets Departmental Expenditure Limits. The amount of power this gives to an individual chancellor depends on his personal forcefulness, his status within his party and his relationship with the prime minister. Gordon Brown
, who became chancellor when Labour came into Government in 1997, had a large personal power base in the party. Perhaps as a result, Tony Blair
chose to keep him in the same position throughout his ten years as prime minister; making Brown an unusually dominant figure and the longest-serving chancellor since the Reform Act of 1832.
This has strengthened a pre-existing trend towards the chancellor occupying a clear second position among government ministers, elevated above his traditional peers, the foreign secretary
and home secretary
One part of the chancellor's key roles involves the framing of the annual year budget
. As of 2017, the first is the Autumn Budget
, also known as Budget Day
which forecasts government spending in the next financial year and also announces new financial measures. The second is a Spring Statement
, also known as a "mini-Budget". Britain's tax year
has retained the old Julian
end of year: 24 March (Old Style) / 5 April (New Style, i.e. Gregorian). From 1993, the Budget was in spring, preceded by an annual autumn statement. This was then called Pre-Budget Report
. The Autumn Statement usually took place in November or December. The 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007
and 2016 budgets
were all delivered on a Wednesday, summarised in a speech to the House of Commons
The budget is a state secret until the chancellor reveals it in his speech to Parliament. Hugh Dalton
, on his way to giving the budget speech in 1947, inadvertently blurted out key details to a newspaper reporter, and they appeared in print before he made his speech. Dalton was actually forced to resign.
Although the Bank of England
is responsible for setting interest rates, the chancellor also plays an important part in the monetary policy structure. He sets the inflation target which the Bank must set interest rates to meet. Under the Bank of England Act 1998 the chancellor has the power of appointment of four out of nine members of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee
– the so-called 'external' members. He also has a high level of influence over the appointment of the Bank's Governor and Deputy Governors, and has the right of consultation over the appointment of the two remaining MPC members from within the Bank.
The Act also provides that the Government has the power to give instructions to the Bank on interest rates for a limited period in extreme circumstances. This power has never been officially used.
Perquisites of the office
The chancellor of the Exchequer has no official London residence as such but since 1828 in his role as Second Lord of the Treasury he lives in the second lord's official residence, No. 11 Downing Street
In 1997, the then first and second Lords, Tony Blair
and Gordon Brown
respectively, swapped apartments, as the Chancellor's apartment in No. 11 was bigger and thus better suited to the needs of Blair (who had children living with him, including one born during his tenure) than Brown who was at that stage unmarried.
Budget box or Gladstone box, c. 1860
The chancellor traditionally carries his Budget speech to the House of Commons in a particular red Despatch Box
. The chancellor's red briefcase is identical to the briefcases used by all other government ministers (known as ministerial boxes or "Despatch Boxes
") to transport their official papers but is better known because the chancellor traditionally displays the briefcase, containing the Budget speech, to the press in the morning before delivering the speech.
In July 1997, Gordon Brown became the second chancellor to use a new box for the Budget. Made by industrial trainees at Babcock Rosyth Defence Ltd ship and submarine dockyard in Fife, the new box is made of yellow pine, with a brass handle and lock, covered in scarlet leather and embossed with the Royal cypher and crest and the Chancellor's title. In his first Budget
, in March 2008, Alistair Darling reverted to using the original budget briefcase and his successor, George Osborne, continued this tradition for his first budget, before announcing that it would be retired due to its fragile condition.
The key to the original budget box has been lost.
By tradition, the chancellor has been allowed to drink whatever they wish while making the annual Budget Speech
to parliament. This includes alcohol, which is otherwise banned under parliamentary rules.
The recent chancellors, Philip Hammond
, George Osborne
, Alistair Darling
and Gordon Brown
opted for water. In fact Darling drank what was named "Standard Water" in reference to, and support of, the London Evening Standard
newspaper's campaign to have plain tap water available in restaurants at no charge to customers.
Robe of office
The chancellor has a robe of office,
similar to that of the lord chancellor (as seen in several of the portraits depicted below). In recent times, it has only regularly been worn at coronations
, but some chancellors (at least until the 1990s) have also worn it when attending the Trial of the Pyx
as Master of the Mint
. According to George Osborne, the robe (dating from Gladstone's time in office, and worn by the likes of Lloyd George
'went missing' during Gordon Brown's time as chancellor.
List of Chancellors of the Exchequer
Chancellors of the Exchequer of England (c. 1221 – c. 1558)
Chancellor of the Exchequer of England
- ^ Served until 1264.
- ^ Lord Lancaster served as Regent of England during the minority of Edward III.
- ^ The Regency government led by the Regency Council governed England during the minority of Henry VI.
- ^ The Duke of Gloucester served as Regent of England during the reign of Edward V.
- ^ Served until 1488.
- ^ Margaret Beaufort served as Regent of England during the minority of Henry VIII.
- ^ The Duke of Somerset and Duke of Northumberland served as Regent of England respectively during the reign of Edward VI.
Chancellors of the Exchequer of England (c. 1558 – 1708)
Chancellor of the Exchequer of England
- ^ Served until 1589 during the 9th Parliament of Queen Elizabeth I.
- ^ Served from 1601 prior to the Golden Speech.
- ^ Served during the 3rd Parliament of King James I in 1621.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1695 general election.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1705 general election.
Chancellors of the Exchequer of Great Britain (1708–1817)
Chancellor of the Exchequer of Great Britain
Term of office
- ^ Lord Parker served as Regent of Great Britain from 1 August to 18 September 1714.
- ^ Elevated to the Peerage of Great Britain on 6 February 1742.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the Hampshire by-election.
- ^ The Prince of Wales served as Prince Regent from 5 February 1811.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1784 general election.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1812 general election.
Chancellors of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom (1817–present)
Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom
- ^ The Prince of Wales served as Prince Regent from 5 February 1811.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1832 general election.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1865 general election.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1918 general election.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 1950 general election.
- ^ Elected to a new constituency in the 2005 general election.
- ^ This is used in almost all cases, including formal uses, for example in Parliament where it is common to refer to the position as 'Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer'. An example use of the full title is on writs appointing people to offices in the Manor of Northstead or the Chiltern Hundreds.
- ^ a b c d Including honorifics and constituencies for elected MPs.
- ^ Martin, Ben (13 July 2016). "Who is Philip Hammond, Britain's new Chancellor, and what are likely to be his first steps?" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- ^ Joseph Haydn, Horace Ockerby (ed.): The Book of Dignities, 3rd edition, Part III (Political and Official), p. 164. W.H. Allen & Co., London 1894, reprinted by Firecrest Publishing Ltd, Pancakes, 1969.
- ^ Chrimes Administrative History pp. 62–63
- ^ "Great Offices of State". The Cabinet Papers. The National Archives. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- ^ "Gordon Brown: Chancellor of the Exchequer". Encyclopedia II. Experiencefestival.com. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- ^ Ben Pimlott, Hugh Dalton (1985) pp 524–48.
- ^ "Monetary Policy | Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) | Framework". Bank of England. 6 May 1997. Archived from the original on 8 May 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- ^ Owen, James (19 December 2012). "Sir Isaac Newton – did you know?". The Royal Mint. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
- ^ "History of Number 11 Downing Street". UK Government. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
- ^ "Local History". Burnham Parish Council. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011.
- ^http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2532776.ece Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ "Bye-bye budget box, hello backpack". The Guardian. 21 March 2011.
- ^ Alistair Darling, Back from the Brink(2011)
- ^ "The Budget and Parliament". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
- ^ Lydall, Ross (6 March 2008). "Chancellor names his preferred Budget tipple – a glass of plain London tap water". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- ^ Murphy, Joe (5 March 2008). "Darling chooses tap water for Budget Day to support Standard campaign". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
- ^ "Photographb".
- ^ "Portrait of Churchill in the robes of wearing his robes as Chancellor of the Exchequer, by John Singer Sargent, 1929. © National Trust Collections". 4 December 2012.
- ^ Vina, Gonzalo (10 December 2010). "www.bloomberg.com". Bloomberg.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab acad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av awax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bpbq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cjck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dcdd de df dg dh di dj dk "Past Chancellors of the Exchequer". gov.uk. Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- ^ "No. 16611". The London Gazette. 9 June 1812. p. 1111.
- ^ "Consolidated Fund Act 1816". section 2, Act No. 98 of 1816. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- ^ Haydn, Joseph; Ockerby, Horace, eds. (1890). "X (Ireland)". The Book of Dignities. London: W. H. Allen & Co. p. 562. OL 13505280M.
- ^ "No. 17893". The London Gazette. 4 February 1823. p. 193.
- ^ "No. 18356". The London Gazette. 27 April 1827. p. 937.
- ^ "No. 18394". The London Gazette. 7 September 1827. p. 1892.
- ^ "No. 28129". The London Gazette. 17 April 1908. p. 2937.
- ^ "No. 42733". The London Gazette. 17 July 1962. p. 5731.
- ^ "No. 43470". The London Gazette. 23 October 1964. p. 9014.
- ^ "No. 44469". The London Gazette. 5 December 1967. p. 13287.
- ^ "No. 58389". The London Gazette. 11 July 2007. p. 9979.
- ^ "No. 59425". The London Gazette. 21 May 2010. p. 9405.
- ^ "Philip Hammond appointed chancellor". BBC News. 13 July 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- ^ "Sajid Javid confirmed as chancellor". The Guardian. 24 July 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
- ^ "Sajid Javid resigns as chancellor". BBC News. 13 February 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
- ^ "Who is Rishi Sunak? Meet Sajid Javid's replacement as Chancellor". Evening Standard. 13 February 2020. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
- Barber, Stephen. "'Westminster's wingman'? Shadow chancellor as a strategic and coveted political role." British Politics 11.2 (2016): 184–204.
- Baxter, Stephen B. The Development of the Treasury, 1660–1702 (1957) online
- Browning, Peter. The Treasury and Economic Policy: 1964–1985 (Longman, 1986).
- Dell, Edmund. The Chancellors: A History of the Chancellors of the Exchequer, 1945–90 (HarperCollins, 1997) 619pp; 17 chapters covering the terms of each chancellor.
- Holt, Richard. Second Amongst Equals: Chancellors of the Exchequer and the British Economy (Profile Books, 2001).
- Jenkins, Roy. The Chancellors (1998); 497pp; covers entire career as well as term in office of 19 chancellors from 1886 to 1947.
- Kynaston, David. The chancellor of the exchequer (T. Dalton, 1980).
- Peden, G. CThe Treasury and British Public Policy, 1906–1959 (Oxford UP, 2000). online
- Vincent, Nicholas C. "The Origins of the Chancellorship of the Exchequer." English Historical Review 108.426 (1993): 105–121. in JSTOR
- Woodward, Nicholas. The management of the British economy, 1945–2001 (Manchester University Press, 2004).
Last edited on 5 June 2021, at 08:53
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