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Directgov and the elections

  • Published: Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Over the next few weeks Directgov will be closely following the rules laid down to ensure political impartiality during the elections. These rules govern the conduct of the civil service until a new government is formed.

The elections

The work of government and the civil service comes under especially close attention during a general election campaign. During that time there are special rules which govern what government ministers and civil servants can and cannot do.

These rules aim to ensure:

  • that public money and resources are not used for party political purposes
  • that there is no activity which could call into question the civil service's political impartiality
  • that any activity does not draw attention away from the election itself

The election period – sometimes called purdah - starts from when the election is called and lasts until a new government is formed.

Directgov during the elections

About Directgov

Directgov is the UK government's digital service for people in England and Wales

During the election Directgov will ensure that all information is kept up to date. Online services will continue as usual, so – for example – people will still be able to renew their car tax or find details of schools and childcare. However the Directgov website, mobile and Digital TV sites will not generally publish new content.

The Directgov newsroom, its videos and external Directgov content on YouTube or Twitter will not publish new content during the time of the election. There are exceptions where the content relates to the election itself or during an emergency.

Further information

Detailed election guidance

The Cabinet Office issues detailed election guidance for the election period. The guidance covers rules on areas including:

  • dealing with enquiries, briefing and requests for information
  • contact with opposition parties
  • political activities of civil servants
  • government decisions and appointments
  • communication activities
  • the use of government property

Codes of conduct

The general principles of civil service and ministerial conduct are set out in the Civil Service Code and the Ministerial Code. These are available on the Cabinet Office website.

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Additional links


Register to vote information

Read about registration, voting and taking part

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