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Supporting Local Councils in Leicestershire & Rutland

A short guide to publicity during the pre-election period

This LGA produced guide provides advice and guidance on the publicity restrictions that should be observed by local authorities during the pre-election period.

What is purdah?

The term 'purdah' has come into popular use across central and local government to describe the period of time immediately before elections or referendums when specific restrictions on communications activity are in place. The terms 'pre-election period' and 'heightened sensitivity' are also used.

When does purdah start?

The pre-election period started at midnight (00:01hrs) on Wednesday 6 November.

About the guidance

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.

It is important to note that pre-election rules restrict activity wider than just publicity. Use of council facilities and resources; the member's code of conduct, developing new policies and holding of events - including some meetings - featuring elected officials should all be carefully considered during a period of heightened sensitivity.

You should not:

• produce publicity on matters which are politically controversial

• make references to individual candidates or parties in press releases

• arrange proactive media or events involving candidates

• issue photographs which include candidates

• supply council photographs or other materials to political group staff unless you have verified that they will not be used for campaigning purposes

• continue hosting third party blogs or e-communications

• help with national political visits (as this would involve using public money to support a particular candidate or party). These should be organised by political parties with no cost or resource implications for the council.

See here for the guide.

Posted: Mon, 11 Nov 2019 08:55 by Jake Atkinson

Tags: Guidance, elections, purdah, lga