During this General Election campaign there have been several disputes over the application of pre-election purdah – ironically, a practice that was specifically designed to avoid imbroiling the Civil Service in controversy.
My own last report as Independent Reviewer, on Deportation with Assurances, fell victim to purdah and has not yet been published, despite being submitted to the Government in final form at the start of February.
My comment piece of today, written for The Times Law Brief, details some other instances and recommends a post-election review of the Purdah guidance. A broader perspective is given by this article, written by Richard Ford and Frances Gibb of The Times. Both pieces are reproduced with the kind permission of The Times.
There was a reaction to my comment piece in PR Week. Catherine Haddon of the Institute for Government (@cath_haddon) and Hetan Shah, CEO of the Royal Statistical Society (@HetanShah) have also written on this subject, and are more knowledgeable about it than me.