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Buckingham Liberal Democrats

Disabled Candidates Being Excluded from Running for Public Office

February 15, 2021 10:53 AM
By Adam Robertson
Originally published by LDDA - The Liberal Democrat Disability Association

The Liberal Democrats Disability Association calls upon the Governement to reinstate immediately the EnAble Fund for Disabled Candidates running for Public Office. The current restrictions on political campaigning due to Covid-19 have seen disabled candidates being unfairly disadvantaged. LDDA believes that the current Conservative Government is not fulfilling the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities which sets out that disabled people have the right to 'participate effectively and fully in political life on an equal basis with others.'

"The current campaigning restrictions are seeing disabled candidates being excluded from running for public office", states Adam Robertson, the Diversity Lead for East of England Liberal Democrats. "For example, under the EnAble Fund a deaf candidate could get help with phone canvassing. Now they cannot when it is more than vital under the currrent campaigning restrictions because of Covid-19. Chloe Smith MP (Minister for Constitution and Devolution) states that campaigning can happen through phone and digital means. If you are registered blind and running for public office how are you meant to campaign without assistance?"

This is not the first time that the Conservative Government have made it harder for disabled candidates to run for public office. They cancelled the Access to Elected Office Fund in 2015.

LDDA demands that the Conservative Government reinstates the EnAble Fund immediately, so those who are classed as disabled under the Equaltity Act 2010 have as fair a chance as a candidate without a disability.