This policy sets out the approach we must all follow if we wish to stand for elected political office or undertake certain political activities.
This policy is part of Our Code, which we are all required to attest to annually.
This policy reflects that the Bank is apolitical, and its requirements are designed to protect our reputation for impartiality, while recognising that staff may wish to engage in political activity.
This policy applies to all of us working at the Bank. This includes consultants, contractors and agency staff.
Political activity here refers to active engagement in:
- Party political matters such as standing in local or national elections, being involved in campaigning (on-line and in person), raising money for a political party, or being on a local party management committee. It does not cover simply being a member of a political party, or providing administrative support to it, such as delivering leaflets.
- Matters of national political controversy relating to your work at the Bank and the role of the Bank, where this could call into question your own political impartiality in the way in which you carry out work for the Bank, or the apolitical status of the Bank itself. This covers speaking publicly or publicly expressing views on such matters on any public platform (including to the media, on the internet, via books, articles or other medium).
The application of this policy will be in accordance with the relevant data protection legislation. For information on how the Bank processes your data, please see our staff data privacy notice.
For all colleagues who engage in political activity
1. You must notify the Conflicts Team and your HoD via the Our Code Compliance system in advance if your political activity is likely to include involvement in party organisation, fundraising or campaigning (eg, door to door canvassing).
2. You must avoid any suggestion that the Bank supports or endorses your political activity. This means:
2.1. you must not engage in political activity while on duty, or using Bank premises, systems, or resources;
2.2. you must make it clear that your involvement is solely in a personal capacity;
2.3. you must not publicise that you work for the Bank in connection with it;
2.4. you must avoid speaking publicly or publicly expressing views on matters of national political controversy relating to your work and the role of the Bank where this could call into question your own political impartiality or the apolitical status of the Bank itself; and
2.5. you must comply with the Bank’s External communications and engagement policy when engaging in political activities (particularly where there is a risk of the Bank being drawn into a matter of political or public controversy) and raise any questions about media contact or public debate with the Executive Director, Communications, or the Chief Press Officer.
3. You do not need to notify the Bank of mere membership of a political party, or providing administrative support to it, such as delivering leaflets.
For all colleagues who wish to stand in local or national elections
4. If you wish to stand for local or national elected office, you must seek consent in advance from the Secretary via the Our Code Compliance system, giving at least three months’ notice.
4.1. In exceptional circumstances the Secretary may allow for a shorter notice period.
4.2. You should also make your HoD aware of your request.
5. The Secretary may consult local management and Governors as necessary, to consider any sensitivities arising from your work, and any risk to the Bank’s reputation for impartiality.
5.1. This will be a particular concern if you work in a policy area of the Bank and are seeking adoption as a prospective candidate for a Parliamentary constituency or as a candidate for another national assembly.
6. If you are selected as a party candidate for membership of the House of Commons, the Scottish Parliament, or the Welsh, Northern Irish or London Assemblies, or for any other remunerated elected office, you will be required to take unpaid leave from the point of adoption as a prospective candidate until the election.
6.1. If you are elected, you must resign from the Bank with immediate effect.
7. If you are elected as a member of a local authority or similar body, you may be allowed to remain employed by the Bank.
7.1 If you intend to stand again in subsequent local elections, you must seek consent in advance for each local election using the Our Code Compliance system.
For all line managers and HoDs (and above)
8. You must ensure that any member of your team who is, or plans to be politically active, understands the requirements of this policy, and follows the notification and approval process in a timely manner.
9. HoDs (and above) are required to approve political activity requests promptly via the Our Code Compliance system, once screened by the Conflicts Team.
10. Contact the Conflicts team if you have any questions about a request you have received.
What support is available to help you comply with this policy?
The following documents support this policy:
If you realise you have breached – or suspect that you might have breached – a requirement in this policy please tell AskCompliance as quickly as possible, so that the issue can be reported and redressed under the Bank’s Breach Management Policy. The Bank gives credit for you taking prompt responsibility for your mistakes. You should be aware that failing to discharge your responsibilities could lead to disciplinary or other action.