Jo Swinson MP for East Dunbartonshire is backing a fund that 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.
The grants offered by the Access to Elected Office Fund help meet the additional support needs associated with a disability that a disabled person may have.
Commenting Jo said:
"If this support were not provided, a disabled person may face additional barriers in the selection and campaign processes compared to a non-disabled person.
"I welcome the Access to Elected Office Fund's goal to level the playing field for potential disabled candidates and to tackle the currently low levels of disabled people in public life."
The Fund will be open for applications until the end of March 2014. It will help disabled candidates meet the additional costs they may face compared to a non-disabled person whether these are related to transport, communication, technology or support.
To be eligible for the Fund applicants must:
- be eligible to stand for an election covered by the Fund;
- be disabled, and
- be able to show they have been involved in or are interested in politics, civic, community or other relevant activities.
The Fund will provide support for disabled people who want to stand either for political parties or as independent candidates for the following elections and by-elections: UK Westminster elections, English local authority elections, English Mayoral elections and elections for Police and Crime Commissioners.
The Fund has is part of the Government's Access to Elected Office Strategy which provides practical support for disabled people who want to become an elected representative