Prior to the UK General Election on June 8 2017, the Government entered a period of "purdah" where the actions of the civil service were limited.

Has this period now ended? What is the trigger for it ending?


Purdah is over once parliament re-convenes which it did so this morning, the civil service should now be able to return to their full duties. It is worth noting this might not be fully formalised or practised until the 19th of June which is the State Opening of Parliament.

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  • This may be correct, and the references provided are certainly interesting. However, I don't see any direct statement about the end of purdah. – mikado Jun 13 '17 at 20:55
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    As it says the start of Purdah is when parliament is dissolved, one thus assumes that Purdah finishes when parliament reconvenes – SleepingGod Jun 13 '17 at 20:57

While it's surprisingly hard to find an authoritative reference, the purdah period for the General Election 2017 will have ended with the close of polls at 10pm on election day (8th June). The underlying reason for the restrictions is to prevent the appearance that the Government (in the general sense including Ministries and the civil service) is engaging in party politics, Which might swing the electorate. Once the polls are closed, this is obviously impossible.

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    Your logic is certainly plausible, though one might argue that the civil service's actions should remain limited until there is a new government (Gordon Brown was PM for several days after the 2010 election). In any case, I was hoping for an authoritative statement... – mikado Jun 13 '17 at 21:00
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    @mikado I can find guidance for the locals elections in May from Devon council naming election day, but nothing for the general: torridge.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=17463&p=0. As it says "Purdah is a classic of British political convention, unwritten, of uncertain status and often imprecise’, a self denying ordinance applied on a case-to case basis, not enshrined in law. It is in reality just custom and practice, with a healthy dose of common sense! It needs to be understood by reference to the way public bodies behave in practice rather than the application of rigid rules." – origimbo Jun 13 '17 at 21:38

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