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New Diversity Initiative for disabled candidates wishing to access political office

July 24, 2012 1:45 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Lynne Featherstone MPEarlier this week, Liberal Democrat Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone MP launched the Access to Elected Office Strategy to provide additional support for disabled people seeking elected office. The Strategy has been designed to level the playing field for potential disabled candidates and tackle the currently low levels of disabled people in political life.

The Access to Elected Office Fund offers individual grants of between £250 and £10,000 to disabled people who want to be selected as candidates for an election, or who are standing for election as not only MP's, but also Local Council, PCC, and mayors.

The grants help meet the additional support needs that a disabled person has that are associated with their disability. If this support were not provided, a disabled person may face an additional barrier in the selection and campaign processes compared to a non-disabled person.

As part of this strategy, they have:

  • Set up a new fund to help disabled people who plan to stand for elections with the extra disability-related costs

  • Provided new training and development opportunities for people who are interested in a political career; including launching an introductory online training course and paid internships on the Speaker's Parliamentary Placement scheme which is open for applications until 30 July 2012.

More information about the strategy is available from the Home Office website here or contact Issan Ghazni - East Midlands Regional Diversity Champion 07989568885 Issan.Ghazni@eastmidlibdems.org.uk - - www.issanghazni.co.uk