The term “purdah” is in use across central and local government to describe the period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on the activity of civil servants are in place. The term ‘pre-election period’ is also used.
For general elections in the past this period commenced with the announcement of the election by the Prime Minister. There was no announcement of the next general election because the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 set the date as 7 May 2015 and Parliament had to be dissolved on 30 March 2015.
The Government had announced that the pre-election period before the general election would begin on 30 March 2015, the same day as the dissolution of Parliament.
Accordingly, as from 30 March the entire civil service has been holding its breath. What political flavour of master will be in charge after the 7 May?
In some respects, those of us who interpret the laws created by Government are in a similar position. As professionals, we don’t get to vote in much the same way that civil servants don’t get to vote. We are all required to accept the rule of law and make sure that our clients get the best deal based on legislation enacted.
In just over a week’s time we should know the political flavour of the next Government, and within weeks, no doubt the Finance Bill No 2 2015 will be published. All change…
One thing is for certain, this is not a time to take your eye off the ball.
Informanagement is ready. We will be sending out updates as soon as new legislation, or details of proposed changes, are published.
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