During World War II (1939–1945) Great Britain had a constitutional monarchy. Just as it is today, the government was headed by the prime minister, who was appointed under the auspices of the ruling monarch. The prime minister appoints all the other ministers of the national government who make up the Cabinet. The parliament is composed of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is the main legislative body in the government and is composed of elected representatives. King George VI was the reigning monarch during the war. While the king did not take an active role in the daily function of the government, he served as a central figurehead of the government. The government of Great Britain during the war was structured very much as it still is today.
At the outbreak of the war, Neville Chamberlain was serving as the prime minister. He received a lot of criticism for failing to counter the Nazi threat when it still may have been possible to avoid outright conflict. When Chamberlain resigned in 1940, Winston Churchill took over as prime minister after he was appointed by King George VI. His coalition government was referred to as the Churchill war ministry. Although it was led by the Conservative Party, it included leaders from the Labour and Liberal parties as well. A few months before the end of the war, the Labour Party won elections and Clement Attlee was appointed as prime minister.