What can and can’t be done during election purdah

The House of Commons Library has a research note out explaining the rules about election purdah, or as it’s now known, the pre-election period of sensitivity. (A change of name that sounds like it was done by a committee…)

As the note explains:

It is a time when governments, ministers and civil servants will exercise caution in making announcements or decisions that might have an effect on the election campaign. The exact period depends on the type of election.

The pre-election period for the UK and devolved governments and their civil servants is not set out in law but is governed by conventions.

Backbench and Opposition MPs are not constrained by the pre-election period of sensitivity. However, all MPs, elected politicians and candidates will need to ensure they abide by campaign finance and election law during an election period.

Local authorities have their own set of rules that are set out in statutory guidance.

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