SOUND ADVICE: A timely recap on Purdah advice


There’s an election swinging into view so I’m writing this quick signposting blog to two useful resources.

Purdah is the period that governs what you can and can’t publish as a council officer.

The idea is that the comms team cannot be the mouthpiece of a politician running for election.

There’s two links I’m pointing to you towards. Firstly, the Local Government Association guidance and secondly, a blog I’ve posted about advice for social media.

The LGA advice you can find here.

This guidance provides advice on the publicity restrictions that should be observed during the purdah period. It should be read in conjunction with any guidance produced by your own returning officer or monitoring officer, which provides specific advice depending on your local circumstances.

The social media Purdah advice I’ve blogged is here.

There’s this funny period in the run-up to an election which sees local government comms team change behaviour.

Gone are the press releases from politicians and in comes quotes from officers. Why? To ensure that the council cannot be accused of political bias in the run up to polling day.

The pre-election advice for the NHS can be found here.

This briefing sets out considerations for NHS foundation trusts and trusts in the period of time known as the pre-election period, or ‘purdah’, leading up to the 2019 UK general election on 12 December. It highlights the practical implications around provider activities.

The Civil Service advice you’ll find on this link here.

The basic principle for civil servants is not to undertake any activity that could call into question their political impartiality or that could give rise to criticism that public resources are being used for party political purposes.

As ever, check against delivery and with your legal team.

Picture credit: istock.

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