Page last updated at 15:38 GMT, Monday, 28 September 2009 16:38 UK
First minister

The heads of the Scottish Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government are all called first ministers.

Just as the prime minister is an MP, each first minister must be a member of the Assembly or Parliament in the nation they seek to lead.

The role is slightly different in Northern Ireland, where equal power is shared between the first minister, who leads the party with the largest number of votes, and the deputy first minister, who leads the party with the second largest number of votes.

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