-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

Government reluctance to support the reasonable adjustments of disabled election candidates

04 February 2021

With shockingly low representation of disabled people in elected office, both across local authorities and in parliament, the government’s silence on establishing a fund to support the reasonable adjustments of disabled candidates is deeply troubling.

The Elected Office Fund and then the Enable Fund, which have both existed in the past, were designed to support the reasonable adjustments of disabled election candidates. These funds allowed disabled people, who required additional support to enable them to campaign, to feel that they could stand for election.

Government argues that political parties should meet the costs of reasonable adjustments, however, there is no evidence that they are doing so. Disability Rights UK has suggested to government that in the same way as Access to Work, the government could meet the costs of reasonable adjustments and then seek re-imbursement from political parties. This would remove the burden from disabled candidates of having to secure additional support from their local party organisations.

Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy at DR UK said “At a time when the Government is poised to launch a National Disability Strategy, the failure to establish a permanent fund to support disabled people to stand for elected office is difficult to comprehend.”

“Some disabled people need support to run an election campaign and there is a real danger that if that support is not easily available, either they or their local party, might feel it’s not possible for them to stand.

“We would ask Government to urgently establish a fund to support disabled people to gain elected office, so it is in place for the May 2021 elections.”