Chancellor of the Exchequer

Chancellor of the Exchequer
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Official portrait of Mr Philip Hammond.jpg
Incumbent
Philip Hammond

since 13 July 2016 (2016-07-13)
Her Majesty's Treasury
StyleChancellor
(informal)
The Right Honourable
(within the UK and the Commonwealth)
Member ofCabinet
Privy Council
National Security Council
Reports toPrime Minister of the United Kingdom
Residence11 Downing Street
SeatWestminster
AppointerThe Monarch
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
Formation22 June 1316
First holderHervey de Stanton
in the Kingdom of England only
DeputyChief Secretary to the Treasury
Salary£69,552 (excluding salary as www.gov.uk

The Chancellor and Under-Treasurer of Her Majesty's Exchequer, commonly known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer,[a] or simply the Chancellor,[1] is a senior official within the Government of the United Kingdom and head of Her Majesty's Treasury. The office is a British Cabinet-level position.

The chancellor is responsible for all economic and financial matters, equivalent to the role of finance minister in other nations. The position is considered one of the four Great Offices of State, and in recent times has come to be the most powerful office in British politics after the prime minister.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is now always Second Lord of the Treasury as one of the Lords Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Treasurer. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, it was common for the prime minister also to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer if he sat in the Commons; the last chancellor who was simultaneously prime minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer was Stanley Baldwin in 1923. Formerly, in cases when the chancellorship was vacant, the Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench would act as Chancellor pro tempore.[2] The last Lord Chief Justice to serve in this way was Lord Denman in 1834.

The chancellor is the third-oldest major state office in English and British history; it originally carried responsibility for the Exchequer, the medieval English institution for the collection and auditing of royal revenues which dates from the Anglo-Saxon period[3] and survived the Norman conquest of England.[4]:149 The earliest surviving records which are the results of the exchequer's audit, date from 1129–30 under King Henry I and show continuity from previous years.[5] The chancellor controlled monetary policy as well as fiscal policy until 1997, when the Bank of England was granted independent control of its interest rates. The chancellor also has oversight of public spending across Government departments.

Second Lord of the Treasury

The holder of the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer is ex officio Second Lord of the Treasury as a member of the commission exercising the ancient office of Lord High Treasurer.[6] As the Second Lord, his official residence is 11 Downing Street in London, next door to the residence of the First Lord of the Treasury (a title that has for many years been held by the prime minister), who resides in 10 Downing Street. While in the past both houses were private residences, today they serve as interlinked offices, with the occupant living in an apartment made from attic rooms previously resided in by servants.

Since 1827, the chancellor has always simultaneously held the office of Second Lord of the Treasury when that person has not also been the prime minister.

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