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Government of Wales Act 2006


Section 16: Disqualification from being Assembly member

78.This section specifies the persons who are disqualified from becoming or continuing to be a member of the Assembly, including:


those disqualified from being a member of the House of Commons under section 1(1)(a) to (e) of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 (judges, civil servants, members of the armed forces, members of police forces, members of foreign legislatures);


holders of offices designated by Order in Council (which must be laid before and approved by the Assembly);


the Auditor General for Wales and the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales;


members of the staff of the Assembly.

79.In addition, those disqualified from membership of the House of Commons, other than under the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975, are also disqualified from membership of the Assembly. This covers common law and other statutory disqualifications and has the effect of excluding from membership:


persons under the age of 21 who are disqualified by the Parliamentary Elections Act 1695, section 7;


aliens who are disqualified at common law and by virtue of the Act of Settlement 1700, section 3, as amended by the British Nationality Act 1981,Schedule 7. Irish or Commonwealth citizens are not regarded as aliens for this purpose. Section 17(2) also excepts EU citizens who are resident in the UK;


local authority employees in politically restricted posts, who are disqualified from candidature for election to the House of Commons by the Local Government Officers (Political Restrictions) (Amendment) Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/3116), Schedule 1 para 1(a);


persons who are mentally ill and who are disqualified at common law. The procedure for the vacation of their seats is specified in section 141 of the Mental Health Act 1983;


persons in respect of whom a bankruptcy restrictions order has effect are disqualified under section 426A of the Insolvency Act 1986;


persons guilty of corrupt or illegal practices at Parliamentary elections are disqualified under the Representation of the People Act 1983;


convicted prisoners serving a sentence of more than one year’s detention (or an indefinite sentence) in the UK or Ireland, who are disqualified by the Representation of the People Act 1981; Section 16(3) extends this disqualification to prisoners serving a sentence of more than one year’s detention in any EU member State.

80.Members of the House of Lords are disqualified from being members of the House of Commons, but section 17(1) lifts these disqualifications in relation to membership of the Assembly.

81.Anyone who holds office as a Lord Lieutenant, Lieutenant or High Sheriff for any area in Wales is disqualified from membership but only for any constituency or electoral region wholly or partly included in that area.

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