'Crisis' warning over hung parliament

Whitehall comms directors have been advised to step into crisis mode to ensure they are prepared in the event of a hung parliament after 6 May.

Whitehall: comms shake-up
Whitehall: comms shake-up

In the final few days before the election, government departments are developing hypothetical policies based on the manifestos of all the main political parties, with the aim of hitting the ground running once the new government is elected.

But former Foreign and Commonwealth Office director of comms Lucian Hudson, now partner and MD at Cornerstone Global Associates, said Westminster and Whitehall were 'poorly equipped' to deal with a hung parliament. With polls pointing towards such an outcome, he advised directors of comms to 'treat the situation like a crisis'.

Meanwhile, one current director of comms at a major government department said: 'It means people have to think about the implications of a Government that is potentially going to be influenced by the Liberal Democrats, who have some quite significant differences in terms of policy. The number of potential scenarios has increased markedly.'

Whitehall comms directors have recently been developing comms strategies based on these hypothetical policies. But with greater uncertainly over the outcome of the election, the process has become more challenging.

A former Whitehall director of comms said: 'The key challenge is that they're going to have to prepare for a wider variety of scenarios and be prepared to rip them up and start again.

'The complication with a hung parliament is what permutation could you get? Is it going to be a LibDem/Labour or LibDem/Tory government? And what would that mean?'

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury to reconvene tomorrow after majority verdicts direction

Max Clifford trial jury to reconvene tomorrow after majority verdicts direction

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home for the day after being told by the judge earlier this afternoon that he will now accept majority verdicts.

Labour "fooling themselves" over plans to combat attacks on Miliband

Labour "fooling themselves" over plans to combat attacks on Miliband

Conservative-leaning public affairs experts have questioned the value of Labour's adoption of US-style campaigning tactics in the wake of the opposition hiring election strategist David Axelrod.

PLMR appoints Professor Tim Morris as non-executive director

The vet who helped establish the British Horseracing Authority's anti-doping and animal welfare programme has joined PLMR as a non-executive director.