Change the law to stop sex offenders becoming public office candidates (E​.​G MPs)

Change the law to stop sex offenders becoming public office candidates (E​.​G MPs)

27 April 2021
Petition to
Sarah Gate (Charity)
Signatures: 47,812Next Goal: 50,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Sarah Gate

Help us change the law to stop sex offenders from standing to become MPs.

The laws around who can stand for election to parliament are out of date and need to be changed. Under the current laws, candidates cannot stand to become MPs if they are the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order, but there is no similar bar on anyone convicted of a sexual offence. That cannot be right.

As the May 2021 Hartlepool byelection show, it’s time to block convicted sex offenders from standing in national elections.

Media coverage of the recent Hartlepool contest understandably focused on the Conservative candidate's successful challenge to what had previously been a safe Labour 'red wall' seat. For the women of Hartlepool, the election was notable for another, extremely troubling reason: it revealed the complete lack of legal protections to ban convicted sex offenders from standing for election to become an MP.

Help us close this legal loophole.

Among the 16 candidates standing in Hartlepool was Christopher Killick, 41, who moved to the area recently, after being convicted for a sexual offence in 2020. Not only does the current law allow sex offenders like Killick to stand, despite a judge ordering that he should be on the sex offenders register for five years, he was under no obligation to tell voters about his criminal conviction.

It's time we - women of Hartlepool and across the UK - had our say: sex offenders do not speak for us and should be banned from standing to represent us and our communities in parliament.

A group of women and supportive men have now come together to call on the government and electoral commission to change the law to protect UK voters, and prevent convicted sex offenders from using the parliamentary electoral process to give themselves a public platform.

The change is long overdue. In 2018, then local government minister Rishi Sunak (now Chancellor) announced new rules to prevent convicted sex offenders from standing for election to local councils. He 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.”

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.
Despite this, there has been no comparable move either by the government or the electoral commission to prevent sex offenders standing for election to parliament.

Please sign and share this petition and help us keep women safe from convicted sex offenders.

By signing this petition, you will be supporting all victims of sexual crime. We want to get as many signatures as possible so that we might cause national legislative change, particularly to the Representation of the People Act 1981 and the Representation of the people act 1983 - presenting opportunities to provide much stricter rules and regulations around who can be representatives of the people, democratically at a national, regional and local level.

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Signatures: 47,812Next Goal: 50,000
Support now