Scottish Election 2021: Pam Duncan-Glancy, Scottish Labour candidate who uses wheelchair stuck outside Glasgow Emirates Arena counting hall for 45 minutes
A Scottish Parliamentary hopeful who uses a wheelchair was left stranded outside a counting hall in Glasgow after managers refused to believe she was a real candidate.
Ms Duncan-Glancy, who is contesting the constituency of Kelvin, was told she had come to the wrong door at the Emirates Arena, despite it being marked as accessible.
After arriving at the Emirates Arena at around 11am on Friday May 7, there was also no fob for Ms Duncan-Glancy to use the lift and security did not believe she was a candidate as they claimed she had the ‘wrong pass.’
When Ms Duncan-Glancy was finally informed where the candidates were sitting, it was in a tiered seating space which she was not able to access.
When she tried to sit in front of this area, she was told she could not sit there.
Ms Duncan-Glancy said: “The security guard stopped us and he said, ‘You can’t go there’ and I said, ‘You’re joking. I’ve been 45 minutes round this building and nobody knows how I’m to get to this space.’
"I was obviously quite irate at this point but I tried to keep calm.”
"This is not my first rodeo but if someone else who is disabled had this experience they could have been put right off.”
Several managers got involved to sort out another seating area for the Labour candidate, however, when she went to go to the floor of the count and her carer went to the toilet, her carer was told she could not go back in to get Ms Duncan-Glancy as she had the wrong pass.
Ms Duncan-Glancy, who is also on the Glasgow List, added: "To be honest it’s been pretty horrific.
"They were expecting me with a charger in place for my wheelchair – which by the number of times I’ve been round the building I probably will need – but what they hadn’t done was have any communication in place to be prepared for me coming.
"They said it’s a really accessible venue and it’s just because of the one way system in place for covid that's the problem but that wasn’t the issue- the problem was nobody knew what to do.
Ms Duncan-Glancy said issues she faced at the counting hall were a “microcosm” of what happens to disabled people across society on a daily basis.
She added: "There’s a reason there’s so few disabled people in Parliament and councils- it’s because of stuff like this.”
"It’s just another example where more disabled voices are needed.
"We need more disabled people in places of authority which is why I’m standing for parliament.”
Ms Duncan-Glancy said she has received personal assurances from the Emirates Arena CEO that the debacle will not be repeated when the count continues tomorrow.
She added: "The chief executive did come and apologise and she said herself it is about respect and it wasn’t paid.
“So I have faith that they had the best of intentions.”
A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “The Returning Officer has spoken with the candidate and apologised, with steps being taken to ensure that the problem is not repeated.”
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