Earlier in the week during Cabinet oral questions James Duddridge MP asked Minister Brandon Lewis, what the Government’s plans were to encourage candidates with disabilities to stand for election.
James Duddridge (MP Rochford and Southend East) asked:
‘What plans the Government have to encourage more candidates with disabilities to stand for election.’
Brandon Lewis (Minister & Chair of the Conservative Party) said:
'In December 2018, we launched the £250,000 EnAble fund, which provides grants to help cover disability-related expenses that people might face when seeking elected office ahead of the May local elections.'
James thanked the Minster for his response and asked a supplementary question.
James Duddridge said:
‘I thank the Minister for that answer. In the past, I have been a trustee of SHIELDS—Supporting, Helping, Informing Everyone with Learning Disabilitiesin Southend. What plans do the Government have to engage people who have learning disabilities in the electoral process?'
To which the Minister responded:
‘I congratulate my hon. Friend, as I know he works hard in supporting what SHIELDS does. It is clearly doing positive work for people with learning disabilities in Southend. We are committed to supporting people with learning disabilities in participating in democracy. We are working, to that end, in partnership with the Royal Mencap Society, including, for example, through facilitating a meeting between Mencap and political parties on the provision of easy-read manifestos.’