Why is Rishi Sunak Prime Minister if he wasn't elected to be one?

2023 © Wikiask
Main topic: Humanities
Other topics: Politics, UK
Short answer:
  • The people do not directly elect the UK Prime Minister.
  • Rather, by convention, the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the political party that commands a majority in the House of Commons.
Portrait of Rishi Sunak, then Chancellor of the Exchequer.

UK general elections determine the members of the House of Commons, not the Prime Minister[edit]

The United Kingdom has general elections to elect the members of the House of Commons at least every five years, but the Prime Minister or the Monarch can call for early elections.[1][2]

The ruling party votes on a PM, who by convention, is then appointed by the Monarch (at least since 1834)[edit]

Technically, the Reigning Monarch (currently King Charles III) has the right to appoint the Prime Minister, and since 1834 they have always appointed the person chosen by the majority of the political party that forms a majority in the House of Commons.[3]

  1. "Boris Johnson grabs power to call snap election by scrapping fixed five-year terms". The Independent. 2021-05-11. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  2. "Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022". Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  3. "The Cabinet Manual" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-10-25.