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Change a government following a general election

Change a government in Whitehall

Following a general election or other reason for governmental change the current Government in Whitehall will need to be closed, and a new one created.

Closing a government

Governments are listed at the government path of Whitehall Admin.

  1. Select the current government, and click the Prepare to close this government link.
  2. Close the government.

This will close the current government and remove all ministerial appointments. Changes will instantly appear on the live site.

The Content Support team will be able to re-assign ministers once the new government has been opened.

Open a new government

Create a new government

This will instantly create a new government. Changes can be seen in the Rails console by running Government.current.

The new government should also instantly appear in the response from /api/governments.

Applying a banner to political content published by the previous government

Content in Whitehall can be marked as political. Political content which was published under a previous government is historic?. This is highlighted on the page, and in search results. See these pages for example.

A content page A search results page

Marking content as political can happen automatically through the PoliticalContentIdentifier. The political flag on an Edition can also be set manually.

Updating newly historic content

There is a Rake task to republish all political content and ensure these banners are applied for political content which is now associated with a previous government..


In Integration, this will republish around 92,000 documents. The Publishing API may take between 4 and 6 hours to process these.

Grafana monitoring for:

This may trigger Icinga alerts for the Publishing API:

This page was last reviewed on 12 July 2019. It needs to be reviewed again on 12 January 2020 by the page owner #govuk-2ndline .
This page was set to be reviewed before 12 January 2020 by the page owner #govuk-2ndline. This might mean the content is out of date.