Disqualified from Standing for Election

In the UK over 5.5 million people work in central and local Government. Many of those workers are disqualified from standing for election. As a local authority worker for Leeds City Council, myself and all my 14,632 colleagues are disqualified from standing for election to our city council. Disqualifying almost 15,000 people from standing for election seems quite bizarre to me, not many people are interested in politics, the bigger the pool to choose from, the better. The turnout in my electoral ward in 2016, in Leeds was just under 31%, a sad reflection on how people feel about politics. In the English local elections of 2016, in some areas fewer than one in five eligible voters went to their local polling station to cast a vote. We have a broken system, that people see as a negative. But the Scottish system seems much better, the turnout in the 2012 Scottish local elections was 39.6%, and in 2017 local elections turnout was 46.9%

In Scotland the rules were changed in 2005 so that an employee of a local authority could stand for election to that authority, and would only have to resign their employment if they were elected. The Electoral Commission carried out a report for the government in 2015, the report recommended that England should adopt the same qualifying rules for elections as Scotland, and local authority workers should be allowed to stand, but they would have to resign their job with the local authority if elected. The report has not been acted upon yet.

“The Electoral Commission recommend that the law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is changed to make a clear distinction between offices or employment which would prevent someone standing for election, and those which would prevent someone from holding office if elected

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