Disqualification

October 19th, 2018

On 18 October 2018 the Government announced new disqualification rules to prevent people found guilty of serious crimes, notably sex crimes, from serving as councillors and mayors. The new strengthened rules are designed to prevent people found guilty of serious crimes from serving on local councils. The new rules will mean any person who is subject to an Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction, a Criminal Behaviour Order, a Sexual Risk Order or who is on the Sex Offenders’ Register, will no longer be able to stand for elected office in their community.  Current conditions make clear that anyone convicted of an offence carrying a prison sentence of more than 3 months is banned from serving as a local councillor. The new measures will strengthen this further by bringing disqualification rules to include the alternatives to a prison sentence as a barrier to becoming a councillor. Anyone convicted of a serious offence that results in a sentence covered under the new disqualification criteria will be banned from standing for election, or would be forced to step down if they were convicted whilst in post.Government say that they will look to identify a suitable legislative opportunity to bring the changes into law. It will require changes to primary legislation, in particular the Local Government Act 1972, the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, and the Greater London Authority Act 2009. Once the rules are implemented, councils across England will have the power to prevent individuals from standing as a councillor or mayor at the point they trigger the revised disqualification criteria. These proposals will not apply retrospectively.

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