Guidance

Cabinet Manual

The Cabinet Manual sets out the main laws, rules and conventions affecting the conduct and operation of government.

Documents

The Cabinet Manual in PDF Format

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Government response to comments received on the Draft Cabinet Manual in PDF Format

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Government Response to the House of Lords Constitution Committee in PDF Format

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Speech by the Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell about the Draft Cabinet Manual on 24 February 2011

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Draft Manual December 2010 in PDF Format

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Draft chapter 6: Elections and Government formation (pdf, 126kb)

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Detail

The Cabinet Manual, which sets out the main laws, rules and conventions affecting the conduct and operation of Government, has been published by the Cabinet Office. 

A draft Cabinet Manual was published in December 2010 and written comments were invited. Reports on the Draft Cabinet Manual were also produced by the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, the House of Lords Constitution Committee and the Public Administration Select Committee.  A summary of the comments received and the Government’s response to the reports of the Select Committees have been published alongside the updated Cabinet Manual.

The Cabinet Manual gives an overview of the UK system of government, including how the Executive - the government and the civil service - relates to Her Majesty the Queen, devolved administrations and international institutions such as the European Union (EU). It reflects the importance of Parliament and Cabinet government, and the democratic nature of the UK’s constitutional arrangements.

The Manual is primarily intended to provide a guide for members of Cabinet, other ministers and civil servants in the carrying out of government business, but will also serve to bring about greater transparency about the mechanisms of government.

The transcript of a speech given by the Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell on 24 February 2011 at an event organised by the UCL Constitution Unit is also available.