Being an effective minister means balancing multiple roles and relationships. For example, ministers have to be on top of technical policy detail in departmental meetings while also performing effectively in the media. But an effective minister cannot neglect their role as a parliamentarian – whether steering bills through Parliament, responding to scrutiny and representing the Government in the House of Commons or House of Lords, or maintaining links with their party and representing their constituencies.

This briefing paper has been produced by the Institute for Government as part of the Ministers Reflect project. Ministers Reflect is a unique archive of interviews with former government ministers. It is designed to record – in their own words – what it takes to be an effective minister, the challenges ministers face, and what more can be done to support them in driving forward their policy objectives.

Read the Ministers Reflect blog posts.