Labour officers angered as PM ‘blocks transition talks’ with civil service

Reports that Rishi Sunak blocked civil servants from beginning transition talks with Labour have angered celebration officers, this newspaper understands.

Cabinet Office officers historically invite opposition figures to ‘access talks’ to clean the method of handing over energy.

These talks often begin round six months to a yr earlier than a common election, to offer opposition events time to study the practicalities of presidency departments and work by their coverage proposals with civil servants.

But the Prime Minister is claimed to have refused to approve the talks getting underway, fearing it would ship a sign that an election is simply months away.

The election has to happen earlier than January 2025 by regulation – however many imagine Mr Sunak is eyeing up a May polling day.

“The PM can play all the games he likes,” a Labour supply stated. “We’re still preparing for government.”

Another supply stated Labour may take the weird step of formally requesting entry talks if the Cabinet Office doesn’t come ahead with a suggestion.

The final time there was a change of presidency in 2010, Tory officers had been invited to start entry talks 15 months earlier than the election.

Similarly in 1997, entry talks have been authorised greater than a yr upfront.

But earlier than the 2017 and 2019 elections – each of which have been referred to as earlier than the top of the 5 yr election time period, Jeremy Corbyn ’s group got entry from the day the election was referred to as, 51 and 59 days earlier than polling day respectively.