You Gotta Know These British Prime Ministers

the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of the Cabinet (the executive council that leads the government) and is also de facto head of the legislature by his or her presence in the House of Commons. By modern convention, after a general election, the leader of a party able to command a majority of MPs (Members of Parliament) is requested by the monarch to form a government and becomes Prime Minister.

In the 20th century, government terms have been a maximum of five years between elections, but the Prime Minister could choose to call an early election or be forced to do so if he or she ceased to command a majority in the Commons. As of 2011, the government’s term is fixed at exactly five years.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Prime Ministers came from both Houses of Parliament (Lords and Commons); since 1902, all Prime Ministers have been members of the Commons.

Here are ten British Prime Ministers that “you gotta know,” with seven further honorable mentions:

Honorable mentions:

This article was contributed by former NAQT writer Edmund Dickinson.

Thumbs Up! for History

NAQT’s Thumbs Up! for History practice questions consist entirely of tossups about history and culturally important topics of the past.

Learn More Order Now

Browse More “You Gotta Know” Articles

There are over 100 other You Gotta Know articles — make sure you’re studying all of these important topics!

Browse Latest Articles Browse By Category