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Access to Elected Office for Disabled People: A consultation - closes 11th May 2011

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kevin
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Date of publication: 

16 February 2011

Deadline date: 

11 May 2011


Summary: 

This consultation seeks views on the additional support which can be offered to disabled people who wish to become elected representatives.

http://www.equalities.gov.uk/pdf/Main%20con%20doc.pdf<

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kevin
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Theresa May< (Home Secretary; Maidenhead, Conservative)

Today the Government are publishing a consultation paper, co-produced with Equality 2025(1) and disability organisations, which seeks views on the additional support which can be offered to disabled people who wish to become elected representatives.

We want to ensure that our democracy is diverse and that we have a political system which better reflects the people it serves. To this end, the coalition programme contained an important commitment to introduce additional support for disabled people "who want to become MPs, councillors or other elected officials". This commitment was borne from the recognition that the 10 million and more disabled people in the UK< are under-represented in public life. It also follows the recommendations made by the cross-party Speaker's conference in January 2010 on how to improve the representation of women, disabled people and minority ethnic people in the House of Commons<.

In order to produce an effective strategy, we need to establish the practical support needed by disabled candidates to encourage greater participation in public and political life. This consultation is an opportunity for us to seek a diverse range of views, from disabled people themselves and others, on the measures which would make a real difference.

The consultation paper sets out a range of proposals including the establishment of a fund to support disability-related costs. This will not, however, replace existing obligations for parties under the Equality Act 2010/Disability Discrimination Act< 1995. In addition to helping break down financial barriers, the proposals are intended to address some of the wider obstacles faced by disabled people who seek elected office, for example introducing measures to raise awareness and tackle attitudes which might discourage disabled people from putting themselves forward for election.

The proposals will apply to: English local elections, Greater London< authority (GLA<) elections, English mayoral elections, police and crime commissioners and all candidates from all parts of the UK who are seeking elected positions at UK Westminster elections. We would continue to work with colleagues in the devolved legislatures to help best practice from this strategy to be embedded in the electoral practices for their elections.

The consultation will run for a period of 12 weeks, until 11 May. A consultation document and instructions for responding can be found on the Government Equalities Office< website at www.equalities.gov.uk< and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House<.

A summary of the results of this consultation will be published on the Government Equalities Office website within three months of the end of the consultation period.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wms/?id=2011-02-16a.86WS.1<

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anonymous (not verified)
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In April 2012, the Home Office published ‘Access to elected office for disabled people strategy. Compliance with the Equality Act 2010: guidance for political parties’.

The purpose of the guidance is ‘to inform political parties of their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 (the ‘Act’), especially in relation to making reasonable adjustments. This will help political parties to be more inclusive and involve disabled people more in public life’.

here< for details

http://www.edf.org.uk/blog/?p=17546<

anonymous (not verified)
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Disability Politics UK is urging people to sign an e-petition to help increase the number of disabled MPs.

The e-petition ‘Allow MPs to serve on a job share basis’ reads:

We the undersigned recognise that for some disabled people (and others), a main barrier to being able to participate in public and political life is that it is not currently possible to job share as a Member of Parliament therefore we ask that the law be changed to allow MPs to serve on a job share basis.

Disability Politics UK is also urging anyone who would like to stand as a job share MP to contact John McDonnell, the Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington. John McDonnell has made a video explaining that Parliament does not really reflect our community overall. He wants to collect evidence that people would stand for Parliament if they were allowed to job share. Please contact him if you are unable to work full time and would like to stand for Parliament as a job share.

In addition, Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavillion, has produced a video explaining why she thinks that allowing Parliamentarians to job share would help to make Westminster more inclusive.

Click here< for details of petition on Disability Politics UK website

Click here< for link to John McDonnell’s video

Click here< for link to Caroline Lucas’ video

http://www.edf.org.uk/blog/?p=18688<

anonymous (not verified)
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October 3, 2012<

Disability Politics UK is urging people to sign an e-petition to help increase the number of disabled MPs.

The e-petition ‘Change the law to allow MPs to job share’ reads:

The House of Commons is not representative of the electorate. The House of Commons has 650 MPs. Of these 650, there are 504 male MPs, so women are seriously under represented. There are 27 MPs of black and minority ethnic (BME) origin, but there would need to be 55-60 BME MPs to be representative of the BME population. There are a handful of disabled MPs but there would need to be 65 disabled MPs to be representative of the number of disabled people in the population.

Letting MPs serve on a job share basis would enable more people from under-represented groups to stand for Parliament.

We ask that the law be changed to allow MPs to serve on a job share basis.

Legal advice about job sharing for MPs has been obtained by the Equality and Human Rights Commission from Karon Monaghan QC.

John McDonnell MP is presenting a ten minute rule Bill to the House of Commons on 20 November 2012 to seek to change the law to enable MPs to job share. He has made a video explaining that Parliament does not really reflect our community overall.

In addition, Caroline Lucas, the Green Party MP for Brighton Pavillion, has produced a video explaining why she thinks that allowing Parliamentarians to job share would help to make Westminster more inclusive.

Click here for details of petition

Click here for information on the Disability Politics UK website

Click here for legal advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission about job-sharing and MPs

Click here for link to John McDonnell’s video

Click here for link to Caroline Lucas’ video

Click here for Guardian list of people and organisations who support a law change to allow MPs to job share

http://www.edf.org.uk/blog/?p=18688

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