Purdah gone mad at GLA


Notices like those above have been put up in Tube stations telling Londoners about the Mayoral and London Assembly elections on the 5th of May. What they won’t realise is that the whole of strategic London government has shut down to observe purdah as well.  

Now purdah is the borrowed British political term ( from the Indian sub-continent ) used for the period before elections to make sure the political systems do not influence the outcome of the elections themselves. But the problem l have with it is that it comes so early with these GLA elections, in this instance well before the Easter break, that it appears just an excuse for officers to put their feet up with a cuppa for over six weeks before an elections.

Its stops us doing our work representing Londoners, while Monitoring Officers tell us we can’t use resources to political ends as public meetings at City Hall come to a complete stand still. Major demonstrations in London are constrained as these may unduly influence the election result and we can’t even twitter photos of site visits! 

Now why should this happen much earlier than for local or general elections?  Lords knows but the legislation is plainly wrong here, as l’m not sure City Hall has as much influence as say local councils in the lead-up to General Elections. Indeed City Hall shut up shop much sooner than local councils like City of Westminster before last years General Elections!!! So while l carefully go about doing my job, l do wonder if purdah has not gone mad at the GLA. 

2 thoughts on “Purdah gone mad at GLA

  1. Daniel Moylan

    Murad, there is no specific legislation about “purdah” (only a legislative ban on the use of public resources for political purposes); nor is there any case law. The entire elaborate structure now adopted throughout the the civil service is how lawyers have chosen to apply the law. Time to fight back? Daniel Moylan


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