US President vs UK Prime Minister

US President vs UK Prime Minister

Structure of Power

  • The US President is both the head of state and the head of government in the US, combining ceremonial duties with executive responsibilities.
  • The UK Prime Minister, while being the head of government, isn’t the head of state - that role falls to Queen Elizabeth II. The Prime Minister is also the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons.

Term of Office and Removal

  • The US President is elected for a term of four years, with a maximum of two terms, as outlined in the 22nd Amendment of the US Constitution.
  • The UK Prime Minister does not have a fixed term limit and will remain in power as long as they hold the support of the majority of Members of Parliament, with the term between general elections limited to five years by the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011.
  • A US President can only be removed from office through the impeachment process, while the UK Prime Minister can be ousted via a vote of no confidence.


  • The US President has the power to veto legislation, whereas the UK Prime Minister can only suggest amendments to legislation.
  • The US President is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, a power which in the UK resides with the monarch, but in practice has been delegated to the Prime Minister.
  • The US President has extensive powers in foreign policy, being able to negotiate treaties and appoint ambassadors, while the UK Prime Minister shares these responsibilities with the Foreign Secretary and other members of the Cabinet.


  • The US President is not directly accountable to Congress and doesn’t regularly engage in debates with its members, whereas the UK Prime Minister regularly takes part in Parliamentary debates and answers questions from MPs in the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions.
  • The US President is subject to checks and balances from the other branches of government and can be impeached by the House and removed from office by the Senate for ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’. The UK Prime Minister can lose power if they lose the confidence of the House of Commons, either through a formal vote of no confidence or informally by losing key votes.