Into the Cabinet
Thu 1 Aug 2019
By Mel Stride
A few weeks ago I received a call from the Number 10. The Prime Minister wanted to see me at midday. She met me in the Cabinet room and asked if I was prepared to take a place in the Cabinet as Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Council. I was pleased to accept and honoured to be asked. It was not a long meeting but it was pleasant and I thought how relaxed she seemed given all that she had on her mind.
In less than 24 hours she was outside Number 10 setting out the details of her resignation. A sad and emotional end to her premiership. There is now to be a contest within the party to find a new leader – this will conclude by around the end of July and so may have concluded by the time you ready this. My role in the cabinet may therefore of course have been brief but I look forward to embracing my role as Leader of the House. The Leader functions as the government’s voice within Parliament and also Parliament’s voice within Government. Every Thursday I will take questions in the House which can cover virtually any subject.
The only other set piece occasion in which a minister appears before the house to answer questions on just about anything is Prime Ministers Questions – although there the joist between the PM and the leaders of the two largest opposition parties is a far greater test. I have now had my first outings and have thoroughly enjoyed them. The other role I have is Lord President of the Council. This involves presiding over meetings of the Privy Council. This ancient body passes certain orders and is the mechanism through which bills become acts of parliament once the Queen has provided them with Royal Ascent. Meetings are held at Buckingham Palace and the Queen is present to give her consent.
I had the huge honour of meeting the Queen when I served as as a Whip with certain duties relating to the palace and I look forward to seeing the Queen again in my new role. Just about everyone who has met the Queen remarks on the way she puts you at your ease. She does exactly that as well as working immensely hard on our behalf - we are very lucky to have her.
More from Mel www.melstridemp.com
Other columns by Mel Stride
Local Apprenticeships Matter - Fri 3 May 2019
Huge shot in the arm for our High Streets - Thu 24 Jan 2019
Reading - Thu 8 Nov 2018
EU - In or Out? - Mon 11 Mar 2013
Opportunity. - Tue 22 Jan 2013
Where do we begin? - Tue 13 Nov 2012
To Infinity and Beyond - Wed 5 Sep 2012
Working in Westminster - Sun 1 Jul 2012
A Better Balance - Thu 5 Jan 2012
Capital Shame - Mon 7 Nov 2011
Olympic Feat... - Sun 11 Sep 2011
The Coalition - A year on - Mon 11 Jul 2011
Labour Dreams - Sun 17 Apr 2011
Now we really must mean Business - Thu 10 Mar 2011
Freedom and Responsibility - Sun 9 Jan 2011
A leader for Labour - Thu 4 Nov 2010
Education and Freedom - Mon 6 Sep 2010
Tradition and Words - Mon 6 Sep 2010
Mel Stride - Early Days in Westminster - Tue 6 Jul 2010
Mel Stride Conservative Parliamentary Candidate on The Big Society - Mon 3 May 2010
A look back over my years as Conservative parliamentary candidate and contributor to The Cottage - Sun 28 Feb 2010
Building the homes of the Future means giving Power to the People - Thu 3 Dec 2009
Early memories... - Wed 4 Nov 2009
As General Franco lay dying... - Tue 20 Oct 2009