To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of progress in establishing a Democracy Diversity Fund to support disabled people who are parliamentary candidates as recommended in the Final Report of the Speaker's Conference on Parliamentary Representation; and if she will make a statement.
This recommendation is being taken forward through the development of the Access to Elected Office for Disabled People Strategy. Last year, the Government held a public consultation which sought views on a range of policy proposals designed to provide additional support for disabled candidates applying for elected office to help them overcome disability related barriers.
The Government published their response in September 2011. Following the results of that consultation we are now working with political, disability and other stakeholders to take forward five proposals. These are: (i) setting up a dedicated fund to help individual candidates with disability related costs; (ii) new training and development opportunities; (iii) Raising awareness; (iv) guidance for political parties on fulfilling their legal obligations under the Equality Act; and (v) working with political parties to share and promote good practice on disability support.