Getting away with purdah

The unexpected announcement of the snap General Election has once again brought into play the convention of “purdah”. Purdah has the potential to severely disrupt and delay the planning process; recent experience has shown that it is often inconsistently applied, causes confusion and can be invoked as an excuse to avoid controversial decisions.

What is purdah?

Purdah refers to the convention that the government should not take controversial decisions or make policy changes immediately before an election. The convention applies to both national and local governments  (although in slightly different ways –