Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons
Penny Mordaunt was appointed Lord President of the Council, and Leader of the House of Commons, on 6 September 2022. Previously she was Minister of State at the Department for International Trade from 16 September 2021 to 6 September 2022. She was the department’s ministerial disability champion. Penny has been a Member of Parliament since 2010.
Her previous positions include:
She is also a former Governor at the World Bank.
The Leader of the House of Commons
The Leader of the House of Commons is a government minister whose main role is organising government business in the Commons. The Leader of the House does this by working closely with the government’s Chief Whip.
Every sitting Thursday, the Leader of the House tells the Commons about the business scheduled for the following week and usually provisional business for the week after.
The Leader chairs one Cabinet Committee, the Parliamentary Business and Legislation Committee.
Deputising for the Prime Minister
The Leader can deputise for the Prime Minister, either at Prime Minister’s Questions or for formal duties. Ordinarily the Deputy Prime Minister or First Secretary of State can fulfil this function.
History of the role
The title does not appear to have become established until about the middle of the nineteenth-century although the institution is much older. The leadership of the House is not a statutory office nor is the Leader formally appointed by the Crown; for these reasons the post has usually been held together with another office; recently this has usually been that of Lord President of the Council.
Until 1942 the Prime Minister, if a Minister of the House of Commons, generally also acted as Leader of the House, although day-to-day duties were frequently carried out after 1922 by an appointed deputy Leader. Since 1942 it has been the regular practice to have a separate Leader of the House, and there have also been instances of the appointment of a deputy Leader of the House.