As you are aware, there will be a UK parliamentary by-election in the Brecon and Radnorshire constituency on 1 August 2019, and the UK government will be observing a formal pre-election period.

The majority of our work is unaffected - it will be business as usual during this period. However, constraints will inevitably be placed on some of our activities.

As Welsh Government officials, our role is to continue to support ministers in their work as usual, while being aware of the need to avoid action which is, or could be construed as being, party-political or likely to have a direct bearing on the parliamentary by-election.

Please note that no other elections are due to take place in Wales on 1 August 2019.

The Civil Service Code continues to apply during this period. Under that, civil servants must adhere to 2 basic principles at all times:

(i) to be, and to be seen to be, politically impartial
(ii) to ensure that public resources are not used for party-political purposes.

Under that code, Welsh Government civil servants owe their loyalty to the Welsh Government.

From now on, if you are dealing with any issue that relates directly to the Brecon and Radnorshire constituency, then you should exercise considerable care not to put any decision to ministers on this issue, and ensure that no Welsh Government announcements are made that could be construed as influencing the by-election campaign.

If you are in any doubt at all about what to do, then you should approach your Director General or Departmental Director in the first instance. Any further queries should be directed to the Head of Strategic Communications or the Head of News in terms of announcements, etc. or Cabinet Secretariat for more general advice.

Cabinet Division
July 2019