Number Ten Downing Street and the Cabinet Office are at the apex of power in British government, but relatively little is known about the day to day functioning of these great institutions of state. With an unprecedented level of access, and wide-ranging interviews from former ministers, senior civil servants and political advisers, Patrick Diamond examines the administrative and political machinery serving the Prime Minister, and considers how it evolved from the early years of New Labour to the election of the Coalition Government in 2010. Drawing on previously unpublished material, Diamond provides a unique analysis which considers the continuing power of the civil service, the tensions between permanent officials and political aides, and the hard grind of achieving policy change from the centre in Whitehall. By exploring the ideological beliefs underpinning the policy-making process and in illuminating the importance of the British Political Tradition in shaping the institutions and practice of statecraft, this book reveals the contemporary realities of government and democracy in practice.
Power, Politics and the Prime Minister