First minister

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

A first minister is the leader of a government cabinet, usually now used to refer to the political leader of a subnational entity, such as the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, or of a dependent territory.


In Canada, "first ministers" is a collective term that refers to all of the Canadian first ministers of the Crown, otherwise known as heads of government, including the Prime Minister of Canada and the provincial and territorial premiers. It is used in such formulae as "first ministers' meetings".

In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Inuit self-governing region of Nunatsiavut provides for a first minister responsible to the Nunatsiavut Assembly.


The head of government of Norway was called first minister (Norwegian: førstestatsråd) between 1814 and 1873, while it was in personal union with Sweden. In 1893, 12 years prior to the dissolution of the union, it was changed to prime minister (statsminister).

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the term first minister was once used interchangeably with prime minister, such as when Winston Churchill stated: "I did not become His Majesty's First Minister so that I might oversee the liquidation of the British Empire!"

Nowadays, the term is used to describe the leaders of the devolved governments of Scotland,[1] Wales and Northern Ireland. See


In Germany, the first minister in the federal states is known as the Ministerpräsident.

In Malaysia, the first minister for each state with a Malay ruler is known as the Menteri Besar.

George Price held the office of First Minister of Belize between 1961 and 1964, when the title was changed to remier.

See also


  1. "About: People: Who runs the Scottish Government". Scottish Government. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>