New rules make it fairer for disabled candidates in PCC elections

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  • Standing for Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections will be made fairer for disabled candidates
  • For the first time, disability-related campaign expenses will be excluded from candidates’ spending limits
  • Changes form part of the Government’s wider work to make democracy more accessible

Disabled candidates standing in Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections will benefit from fairer spending rules, it has been announced today.

For the first time, disability-related campaign expenses will be excluded from PCC candidates’ spending limits. The changes will help to remove potential barriers that might prevent a disabled person from running for elected office.

Minister for the Constitution, Chloe Smith, said:

Police and Crime Commissioners provide a vital public service, elected as voices for their local communities. That is why we are levelling the playing field and supporting disabled candidates to run for public office.

This is part of a series of improvements to make sure our democracy reflects our
diverse society.

The law passed today has already been applied to other types of elections.

The changes are part of wider government reforms to make democracy more accessible for both candidates and voters. Further commitments include changing the law to allow for a broader range of people to assist disabled voters in polling stations, and ongoing work with civil society groups to support people with particular disabilities.

This includes work already underway with the Royal National Institute of Blind People to find more solutions to help
partially-sighted voters fill in their ballot paper.

Notes

  1. The statutory instrument laid today is titled: Police and Crime Commissioner Elections (Amendment) Order 2020 (“the 2020 order”).
  2. The 2020 Order will also make amendments to the ballot paper (and other electoral forms) to reflect that at the May 2020 PCC elections, four areas will be electing PCCs who also have responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Authority (Essex, Staffordshire, North Yorkshire and Northamptonshire).

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