§ Mr. Winnick
To ask the Prime Minister what guidelines exist for senior civil servants about discussing political matters; and whether these guidelines apply also to the chief executive of the national health service.
§ Mr. MacGregor
I have been asked to reply
General guidance for civil servants on discussing political matters in public is contained in the civil service pay and conditions of service code and in the note on the duties and responsibilities of civil servants in relation to Ministers issued by the former head of the home civil service in December 1987. This guidance does not preclude individual civil servants, including the chief executive of the national health service, from explaining Government policy when appropriate.