First Minister

From ArticleWorld

The term First Minister is defined as an individual that is the leader of a cabinet. Differences appear in what it actually means in some countries including the United Kingdom and Canada.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom the term First Minister was used in the beginning as a synonym with Prime Minister. For instance, Winston Churchill, important British Prime Minister once declared: I did not become Her Majesty's First Minister so that I might oversee the liquidation of the British Empire!" Nowadays the term is used to refer to the leader of the governments of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. For example, “The First Minister of Northern Ireland” is a title.


Canada offers a different view of what a First Minister is. It refers to all Canadian heads of Government and also includes the Prime Minister of Canada and all provincial premiers.

Other uses

The term “First Minister” is sometimes used to refer to the leader of a sub national entity. For instance, before being changed to Premier, the position George Price occupied was First Minister of Belize. He occupied the seat with the former name from 1961 to 1964. It was then changed to the nowadays used term. Germany will use the term Minister-President to refer to the First Minister in a federal state.