Supporting disabled election candidates
- My Vote My Voice supports reinstating the Access to Elected Office Fund as a matter of priority for the Government Equalities Office.
- Disabled candidates face disproportionately higher costs during election campaigns than their non-disabled opponents, particularly when accessing transport and subsidising extra care needs.
- In the three years since the Fund formally closed as the EnAble Fund, the Government has given little indication that it will action its reopening. This needs to change to make our politics open and empowering.
- My Vote My Voice supports the Local Government Association’s Disabled Councillors Leadership Programme. We would urge that a similarly-modelled mentorship initiative be developed and made readily available to disabled representatives elected across local and national office.
- My Vote My Voice echoes similar calls from the Disability Policy Centre; all political parties should conduct immediate reviews into their candidate selection processes at local and Parliamentary level, to ensure that all barriers to engagement and participation have been removed where possible.
- My Vote My Voice supports the IPPR’s recommendation that the Government should legislate a ‘right to run’ that ensures employers are legally obliged to allow people to take time off to run for elected office, not dissimilar to the model around jury service.
Access to Elected Office Fund (Report) Bill
Breaking Down Barriers: Improving Disabled Political Representation and Participation Across The United Kingdom (Disability Policy Centre, March 2022)
Barriers to Elected Office for Disabled People (Government Equalities Office, July 2021)