HL Deb 24 March 1998 vol 587 c237WA
Baroness Gould of Potternewton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What advice has been given to civil servants on the conduct of government business during the forthcoming local elections and London referendum campaign. [HL1160]

The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Richard)

The Government have today issued guidance to civil servants on the principles which they should observe in relation to the conduct of government business in the period before the forthcoming local elections. This guidance also incorporates material on the role and conduct of civil servants during the London referendum campaign, which will coincide with the local elections.

The guidance stresses that civil servants should conduct themselves in accordance with the Civil Service Code and is based on the need to maintain political impartiality of the Civil Service and the need to ensure that public resources are not used for party political purposes.

The guidance on the London referendum will come into force with the publication of the Government's White Paper on a Greater London Authority. For local elections, the convention is that particular care should be taken in the three weeks prior to polling day.

Copies of the guidance have been placed in the Libraries of the House, and are available from the Vote Office.