UPDATE: as a result of More United's campaign, the government announced it will reopen the fund to help deaf and disabled candidates stand for election for the next year.
Five weeks ago, three disabled candidates from three different parties came together to demand a level playing field to stand for election. With More United's support, these candidates launched a legal challenge asking the government to restore the Access to Elected Office Fund.
This was a £2.6 million government Fund that helped disabled candidates of all parties stand for election. It's been under review and out of use for three years. Without it, this opportunity to participate in democracy is closed to thousands.
On Thursday 18 May, the government announced that they are reopening that fund for 12 months.
This simply would not have happened without this campaign, which has brought together MPs from all different parties and thousands of people from across the country to achieve real change. It proves there are some things on which we really are far more united than we are divided.
Here's a reminder of how More United's supporters achieved this victory:
- More United supported three disabled candidates from three different parties to launch a legal challenge
- 10,000 of supporters signed the petition that was delivered to No. 10 Downing St
19 of the UK’s most prominent deaf and disabled people backed the legal challenge with this letter in The Sunday Times
Three disabled MPs from Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives co-wrote a letter to the Home Office
- Supporters got 20 MPs from 5 parties to write to the Home Secretary
- Your campaign was covered in the Guardian, Disability News Service and BBC
As a result of the building pressure, inside and outside of Parliament, the Minister for Women and Equalities, Penny Mordaunt MP, has agreed to reopen the fund for a year.
The next 12 months will provide a window of opportunity to prove how crucial this Fund is, so we can ramp up our efforts to ensure that it is protected in the long-term. That way our democracy can remain open to everyone, always.