New rules increase accountability in public office roles

22 Oct 18

The government will tighten rules in local government to prevent people found guilty of serious crimes from standing for office.

Anyone who is subject to an anti-social behaviour injunction, criminal behaviour order, sexual risk order or is on the sex offenders’ register will no longer be allowed to stand for elected office.

The changes, announced on Friday, will make sure those who represent their communities are accountable and held to the highest possible standards, the government said.

Local government minister Rishi Sunak said: “Elected members play a crucial role in town halls across the country, and are the foundations of local democracy.

“They are community champions, and have a leading role to play in building a better society for everyone.”

He added: “With such an important role comes great responsibility, and these changes will protect residents while upholding the values and high standards of behaviour we all expect.”

Previously, anyone convicted of an offence carrying a prison sentence of more than three months was banned from serving as a local councillor.

The Department for International Development recently announced it would be launching a global register of sex offenders to crack down on abuse in the aid sector.

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