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The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is a ministerial office in the
Government of the United Kingdom The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
that includes as part of its duties the administration of the estates and rents of the
Duchy of Lancaster The Duchy of Lancaster is the private estate of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster. The principal purpose of the estate is to provide a source of independent income to the sovereign. The estate consists of ...
. Formally, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister, and is answerable to Parliament for the governance of the Duchy. In modern times, however, the involvement of the Chancellor in the running of the day-to-day affairs of the Duchy is slight, and the office is held by a senior politician whose main role is usually quite different. In practical terms, it is a
sinecure A sinecure ( or ; from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
, allowing the Prime Minister to appoint an additional
minister without portfolioA minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister who does not head a particular ministry. The sinecure A sinecure ( or ; from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
to the
Cabinet of the United Kingdom The Cabinet of the United Kingdom is a group of the most senior ministers of the crown in the government of the United Kingdom. A committee of the Privy Council, it is chaired by the prime minister and its members include secretaries of st ...
.
Michael Gove
Michael Gove
was appointed to the post on 24 July 2019, and the role was endowed with responsibility for advising the Prime Minister on policy development and implementation, particularly around
Brexit Brexit (; a portmanteau of "British exit") was the Withdrawal from the European Union, withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) at 23:00 31 January 2020 Greenw ...
.


History

Originally, the Chancellor was the chief officer in the daily management of the
Duchy of Lancaster The Duchy of Lancaster is the private estate of the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, British sovereign as Duke of Lancaster. The principal purpose of the estate is to provide a source of independent income to the sovereign. The estate consists of ...
and the County Palatine of Lancaster (a
county palatine In England, Wales and Ireland a county palatine or palatinate was an area ruled by a hereditary nobleman enjoying special authority and autonomy from the rest of a Monarchy, kingdom or empire. The name derives from the Latin adjective ''palātīnu ...
merged into the Crown in 1399), but that estate is now run by a deputy, leaving the Chancellor as a member of the Cabinet with little obligation in regard to the Chancellorship. The position has often been given to a junior Cabinet minister with responsibilities in a particular area of policy for which there is no department with an appropriate portfolio. In 1491 the office of
Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine of LancasterThe Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster is an office of the Duchy of Lancaster. The vice-chancellor is appointed by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster after consultation with the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. Since 1 ...
was created. The position is now held by a judge of the
Chancery Division The High Court of Justice in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at th ...
of the
High Court of Justice The High Court of Justice in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at th ...
, who sits in the north west of England, and is no longer appointed to that position as legal officer of the Duchy.


Modern times

Under the Promissory Oaths Act 1868, the Chancellor is required to take the
oath of allegiance An oath of allegiance is an oath whereby a nationality, subject or citizen acknowledges a duty of allegiance and swears loyalty to monarch or country. In republics, modern oaths are sworn to the country in general, or to the country's constitutio ...
and the Official Oath. The holder of the
sinecure A sinecure ( or ; from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
is a
minister without portfolioA minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister who does not head a particular ministry. The sinecure A sinecure ( or ; from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
; Oswald Mosley, for example, focused on unemployment after being appointed to the position in 1929 during the second MacDonald ministry. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is entitled to a salary under the Ministerial and other Salaries Act 1975, but section 3 of the Act provides that the salary "shall be reduced by the amount of the salary payable to him otherwise than out of moneys so provided in respect of his office". The Office of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is part of the Cabinet Office.Appropriation Act 2010 Schedule 2 Part 2 From 1997 until 2009, the holder of the title also served as the Minister for the Cabinet Office. This applied in the case of Alan Milburn, who was given the title by Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2004 and at the same time rejoined the Cabinet. However, in the reshuffle of 5 June 2009, the Chancellorship went to the Leader of the House of Lords, Janet Royall, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, the Baroness Royall. In David Cameron, David Cameron's first cabinet, the Chancellorship remained with the Leader of the House of Lords until 2014. Prior to Michael Gove the position was most recently held by David Lidington following a Cabinet reshuffle on 8 January 2018. The holder of the post prior to him was Patrick McLoughlin who was given the post following Theresa May's appointment as Prime Minister. Before this the holder of the post was Oliver Letwin, who was appointed in July 2014 when he was also Cabinet Office#Ministers and Civil Servants, Minister for Government Policy (2010–2015); following the 2015 United Kingdom general election, 2015 general election, he was also given overall responsibility for the Cabinet Office and made a full member of the Cabinet. Michael Gove, as Chancellor, has been given responsibility over the Cabinet Office, but did not initially hold the ministerial position of Minister for the Cabinet Office (which is on no statutory footing), though he was later granted that title in the 2020 British cabinet reshuffle, 2020 Cabinet reshuffle.


Responsibilities

In addition to administering the estates and rents of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Chancellor is also a member of the cabinet and advises the Prime Minister on the development and implementation of government policy. In addition, the Chancellor is presently responsible for: * Chairing and deputy chairing Cabinet committees * Implementing government business * Overseeing committees and implementation taskforces, devolution consequences of Brexit, the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, and constitutional affairs * Providing oversight to all Cabinet Office policies


See also

* List of Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster * Lord Privy Seal, Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal * Minister without portfolio (United Kingdom), Minister without portfolio * County Palatine of Lancaster


Notes

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© Crown copyright. {{DEFAULTSORT:Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Ceremonial officers in the United Kingdom Chancellors of the Duchy of Lancaster, * Executive ministers Lists of government ministers of the United Kingdom Ministerial offices in the United Kingdom