There is a certain amount of hysteria in various quarters as to why Gordon Brown is still Prime Minister and is still at Number Ten.

Yes, of course, Labour “lost”  the General Election.  It lost its overall majority in the House of Commons by losing 91 seats.  No-one is arguing about that.

Equally, no Party “won” the General Election.  The Tories gained seats, but not enough to give them an overall majority in the House of Commons.

And just for the record the LibDems lost seats.

So we are now witnessing what happens in most other countries after a General Election – especially those where they have PR-based elections – negotiations between the political Parties to see whether an administration can be formed that can command a majority in Parliament.

But, in the meantime, the Queen’s Government must continue.

So – as is the norm – in every other country where they go through similar processes the out-going Government remains in power on a caretaker basis until they are either confirmed in power or a new administration is agreed.

The Cabinet Office has strict rules as to what Ministers can and cannot do during such a period.

Britain cannot go unrepresented internationally.  There are key meetings in Brussels in the coming week of EU Foreign Ministers and EU Finance Ministers.  Britain will need to play its part in these.  So Ministers will attend, but will keep their counter-parts in the other Parties fully informed throughout.

That is right and proper.  It is not Labour clinging to power.  It is Labour playing its appropriate part in a constitutional process.

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